Latin American Media Awards 2018

The Latin American Travel Association ( has announced the winners of the LATA Media Awards 2018.

The LATA Media Awards, sponsored by Wendy Wu Tours, recognise innovation and excellence across the British travel media landscape with a specific focus on Latin America.

Celebrating and rewarding inspiring and creative Latin America stories and photography, the winners of the 15th edition of the LATA Media Awards were selected from over 150 entries by a strong judging panel composed of key figures from the Latin American travel industry.

The 2018 judging panel included Hilary Bradt, founder of Bradt Travel Guides; Baroness Hooper, lawyer and honorary president of the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) for Latin America; Hugh Thomson, leading author and film-maker; Martin Morales, founder of the restaurant group Ceviche and award-winning Peruvian chef; Colin Stewart, chairman of LATA and the UK and Ireland director at Air Europa; and Andy Skillen, multi-award winning international wildlife photographer and founder of Fauna Vista.

The winners were revealed at the RSA House in London on 22 May, at an event attended by key members of the Latin American travel industry, the diplomatic community and some of the UK’s most prolific travel writers and photographers.

Winners and runners-up are:

Best Online Blog Feature of the Year Award 

Winner: Abigail King, ‘Pre-Columbian art in Ecuador and the surprising question it asks’, Inside the Travel Lab
: Shafik Meghji, ‘Best things to do in Ecuador’
Highly commended for photography:
Neil Hennessy Vass, ‘Central America: A New Revolution’

Best Self-Published Feature of the Year Award

Winner: Anna McNuff, ‘Through Patagonia on Wheels’, Swoop
Jennifer Richt, ‘Belize in it: An Example of Ecotourism’, Jacada Travel

Best Trade Publication Feature of the Year Award

Winner: Ben Lerwill, ‘Andes to Amazon’, Selling Travel
Meera Dattani, ‘Belize the Hype’. Travel Weekly

Best Consumer Online Feature of the Year Award 

Winner: Tamara Hinson, ‘Quito: Why Ecuador’s capital is known for its evolving music scene’, Independent Online
Sarah Gilbert, ‘Exploring Che Guevara’s Bolivian shrine 50 years after his death’, Independent Online

Best Photography of the Year Award

Winner: Jonathan Gregson, ‘Lago Pehoe, Torres Del Paine’, Lonely Planet
Alex Robinson, ‘Mystic River’, Wanderlust

Best Consumer Newspaper Feature of the Year Award

Winner: Mike Unwin, ‘Living at one with the Creatures of the Canopy’, The Sunday Telegraph
Andrew Purvis, ‘My David Attenborough moment in the jungle’, The Sunday Telegraph

Consumer Magazine Feature of the Year Award

Winner: Adrian Phillips, ‘A wild rolling beast of a route’, National Geographic Traveller
Chris Moss, ‘Shape Shifter’, Conde Nast Traveller

Colin Stewart, Chairman of LATA said: “The quality of the entries for the 2018 LATA Media Awards was extremely high and LATA would like to thank all the talented journalists and photographers who entered the awards. We are delighted to have welcomed so many key figures from the Latin America tourism industry and fantastic writers to this flagship annual event, which brings the Latin American region to life through creative and interesting stories and powerful photography. In addition to the headline sponsor Wendy Wu Tours, other sponsors included Silversea Expeditions, The Belize Tourism Board, Belmond, Tierra Hotels, LOTUS LATAM, Las Iguana, and 4Corners.” 

Eight-Weeks until the doors open on Experience Latin America

facebook2Experience Latin America by LATA, the new b2b trade show bringing together key suppliers from Latin America with buyers from the UK and Europe, is on track for launch in less than eight weeks time. So far the event, which is being held between 16–18 June, at 40 Bank Street, in London’s Canary Wharf has attracted around 100 confirmed exhibitors from a cross section of suppliers operating in the region. LATA has also announced details of the seminar programme with two categories – ‘Uncover’ or ‘Discover’ seminars.

Exhibitors including tourist boards such as Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Peru, Quito and the CTO; leading airlines serving the region such as AirEuropa, Avianca, British Airways, Caribbean, Copa, Iberia, LAN, TAM, TAP and United; hotel companies including Alvear, Belmond, Fasano Hotels, Grace Hotels and Inkaterra, are among those exhibiting and even leading cruise lines, such as Silversea, have recognised the promotional and business opportunities the event brings.

With delegates by invitation only and registration growing daily, the three-day show will bring together carefully-selected companies wishing to increase business to Latin America, including Brazil. Pre-scheduled meetings, inspiring seminars and plenty of networking opportunities should ensure a cross-section of Latin American suppliers and overseas buyers and media get ample opportunity to meet and network, learn about new products and strengthen existing relationships.

LATA chairman Chris Pickard said: “We are delighted by the response we have had for the first year from both the suppliers and the buyers – a true reflection of the interest from the UK and Europe in Latin America as a destination and the belief of the Latin American suppliers in the future growth of the UK outbound market.

“We did not make it easy for ourselves in holding the first Experience Latin America during the World Cup, especially when the tournament was in Latin America itself, but LATA is looking beyond 2014 and sees this very much as an annual event that will be a must do on the calendar of anyone involved in travel and tourism to Latin America.”

Bank Street entryThe seminar programme is a fundamental part of the experience for buyer and supplier delegates to engage, interact and learn at Experience Latin America. The ‘Discover’ and ‘Uncover’ seminars will provide education, inspiration and interaction for all delegates attending the event.

‘Discover’ seminars will be destination themed offering delegates the chance to learn about each region and specific product highlighting the incredible variety of experiences in Latin America.

‘Uncover’ seminars will look at the topical issues facing tourism to Latin America in general. Expert speakers and panellists will inform on current trends, perceptions and opportunities in Latin America, and highlight its enormous potential for increased business. Topics will include:-

  • Key sustainable tourism trends in Latin America for the next 10 years
  • How to get the most out of your social and digital media strategies
  • Routes to the UK market
  • Why adventure travel is essential to the future of tourism in Latin America
  • Key European booking trends
  • Growing niche markets in Latin America
  • How hotel and transport safety in Latin America affects you
  • Trends in cruising in Latin America.

The Experience Latin America social programme will kick off with an official launch party on 16th June sponsored by Air Europa.

LATA Foundation Quiz in London

lataflyer2014The annual Latin American Travel Association Foundation Pub Quiz, hosted by British Airways/Iberia, will take place on Tuesday, 6 May at the Railway Tavern close to Liverpool Street Station in London. Tickets in support of the LATA Foundation cost just £15 per person.

For more information, or to register your team, contact

Lily Cole honoured with LATA Media Award for her work with the Amazon

Lily Cole LATA Award

Chris Pickard, LATA; Lily Cole, award winner; Baroness Hooper

Environmentalist, fashion model and entrepreneur Lily Cole has been honoured with the LATA Media Award for 2014 at a ceremony in the Palace of Westminster. The presentation took place on Wednesday, 5 February 2014 during the All-Party Parliamentary British-Latin American Group and Latin American Travel Association’s ninth annual reception.

Lily was following in the footsteps of the award’s most recent winners Jonathan Dimbleby (2012) and Michael Palin (2013). Christopher Pickard, chairman of LATA, said Lily had been chosen for the way she had used the media to help educate a new audience about the Amazon rainforest, its benefits to mankind and also the perils that such regions of the world face from both nature and from human beings.

Cole has visited the Amazon in Brazil where she directed her own short film “Wild Rubber” and featured in Sky Arts’ “Amazon Adventure”. She is very active ambassador for Sky Rainforest Rescue and the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) who between them are committed to saving a billion trees in the Amazon through green economics.

Cole has also collaborated with Vivienne Westwood and the EJF (Ethical Justice Foundation for which she is a patron) to create wild rubber fashion and accessories and will continue to explore the potential development of wild rubber.

On receiving the award Cole said: “As demonstrated by my work with WWF and Sky, I am committed to our project in saving one billion trees in the Brazilian Amazon. By raising awareness and through creating sustainable projects where we can put the profits back into the hands of the local people we hope to encourage them to protect the Amazon rainforest not only in Brazil but across Latin America.”

Lily Cole awardPickard said: “Lily’s work has catapulted the perils of destroying the rainforest and the Amazon to a much wider audience. She has used her fame to highlight a cause very close to our hearts and we are delighted to present her with an award in recognition of her impact in inspiring a new audience to learn and care about the Amazon and the rainforests of Latin America.”

Also presented with an award was Travel Trade Gazette (TTG) in recognition of its 60 years of coverage of the global travel industry and in promoting Latin America to the UK travel trade. The South American Handbook now published by Footprint also received an award for its coverage and impact in promoting Latin America over 90 years of continuous publication (1924-2014). The guide’s editor, Ben Box, was singled out for his incredible achievement of editing the book for the past 25 years.

Managing director, Daniel Pearce, and editor, Pippa Jacks picked up the award for TTG, and Footprint managing director Patrick Dawson accepted the award for The South American Handbook.

Over 200 guests including members of both the Commons and the Lords, Latin American ambassadors and diplomats in London, as well as travel companies involved with Latin America, heard from the Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with responsibility for Latin America, and the Baroness Hooper, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary British-Latin American Group.

Hugo Swire

Rt hon Hugo Swire

 During his speech, Swire highlighted the increased investment between the UK and Latin America which in the case of Colombia will see the return of direct flights from the UK this summer, as well as the new embassy in Paraguay thanks to increased ministerial visits to the region. His final words echoed foreign secretary William Hague’s speech in 2010 firmly stating: “the British are back and ready to re-engage with Latin America.”

LATA elects its new committee and officers for 2013/2014


The Latin American Travel Association (LATA) has held the first meeting of its new executive committee for 2013/14. At the meeting Chris Pickard was re-elected chairman. The other officers are Sue Faithfull – Vice Chairman / Byron Shirto – Honorary Secretary / Lesley Roberts – Treasurer / Ed Paine – LATA Counsellor.

The full LATA committee for 2013/14 is:

Amanda Sweeney (Rainbow Tours)
Byron Shirto (Talking Stick Marketing)
Chris Pickard (Critical Divide)
Claudia Morales (Branding Latin America)
Colin Stewart (Air Europa)
Edward Paine (Last Frontiers)
Lesley Roberts (United Airlines)
Liza Masias (Inkaterra)
Lupita Ayala (Mexico Tourism Board)
Lyn Hughes (Wanderlust)
Priti Mehta (Silversea Cruises)
Ray Blok (British Airways / Iberia)
Sara Nozal (Aviacircle)
Simon Heyes (Senderos)
Sue Faithfull (Brazilian Chamber of Commerce)
Wendy McNeill (Americas)

Michael Palin wins the LATA Media Award for 2013

Palin Brazil

Michael Palin is the recipient of the Latin American Travel Association’s media award for 2013.

The award was presented to Palin at a reception held on the House of Lords Terrace on Wednesday, 30 January 2013 and hosted by Baroness Hooper, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary British-Latin American Group, and Christopher Pickard, chairman of Latin American Travel Association.

The award was presented to Palin in recognition of his “impact in inspiring people to travel and learn more about the world and its people. And for his BBC television series and book “Brazil”, in helping to promote the understanding of Latin America.”

The evening also marked the 21st anniversary of LATA as an association.