Choosing the best. By the best?

By | Category: Travel news

part of the Mary Rose

Who better to judge which is the best tourist destination than a professional travel writer?


Because they’ve seen it all before. They’ve leafed through hundreds, nay thousands, of press releases containing words like “unique,” “hidden gem,” “family-friendly,” and “undiscovered” to name just four world-weary descriptions used by the publicity people on behalf of a destination.

So it’s worth paying attention to which places the British Guild of Travel Writers name. Each tourism project was completed within the past three years, each was nominated by a Guild member and they were all selected via a secret ballot of the Guild’s 275 professional journalists, writers, editors, photographers and broadcasters. They were asked to evaluate each proposed project on the basis of both its tourism potential and its benefit to the local community.

The new museum housing the Mary Rose won the Best UK Tourism Project award. The ship-shaped, space-age building houses the Mary Rose Tudor warship which mysteriously sank on a calm summer’s evening in 1545 and was raised from the seabed in 1982. Cleverly displayed are 17,000 fascinating items ranging from Henry VIII’s cannons and a unique compass to re-creations of the faces of seven crew members based upon their skeletal remains.

The Best European Tourism Award winner, Amsterdam’s landmark Rijksmuseum, reopened in April of this year after a 375 million euro transformation had replaced a fusty, narrow entrance, gloomy galleries, ad hoc extensions and acres of white-washed walls with a soaring light-filled atrium, spacious and harmonious galleries and glowing restored paintings complemented by ceramics, sculpture and historic exhibitions.

The Best Wider World Tourism Award went to the revived Andean railway line in Ecuador which allows passengers on the Tren Crucero (Cruise Train) to enjoy four-day rail itineraries with overnight stays in historic haciendas and hotels. As a result dozens of stations were restored and enhanced with additional amenities and more than 10,000 jobs were created.

So what if they partied last Sunday night at during their awards-giving? So what if some never made it to the first press briefings on Monday morning due to thick heads? Without their dedication and selfless travel in search of the fascinating, you would be the poorer for it.

Or maybe not!

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