Founded in 1960, the British Guild of Travel Writers (BGTW) is an association of over 270 professional writers, editors, photographers, producers, radio and television presenters involved in the world of travel. You’ll find Guild members names in by-lines to articles featured everywhere throughout the British press, on imprint pages of countless guidebooks and increasingly across online travel resources. The BGTW also includes travel editors of national and regional newspapers, magazines, radio and TV programmes in its directory of members and contacts.
Editors across the UK have traditionally called upon the Guild’s printed Yearbook and website when, for example, tracking down that Yucatan Dog Sledding expert for an article or that photographer with a penchant for decorative Parisian balconies. Writers and photographers have also always relied on the BGTW to find out who’s who and who does what in the travel and holiday industry.
And the good news is that the on August 14th at The Ambassadors Bloomsbury, London, to an audience of guild members, the BGTW’s shiny new website went live. Replacing the trusty old site that was launched on shoestring in 2001, the clean blue and white site provides an inspiring platform for members work: their published travel books are exhibited and can be bought by way of a Carousel Widget linked to Amazon. The carousel of books revolves as you navigate the site. Other new features include Members’ Mini-Webs: nifty self-edited sites where guild members can host their biographical profile and contact details for editors and travel PR professionals wanting to commission the right person for the job.
Even if you’re a travel writer who’s still working up the portfolio and credentials required to join the Guild, many valuable facilities are accessible to non-members. RSS Feeds send out the latest news from the Guild and other sources, whilst a Bookmarks Page holds links to travel industry oracles such as ABTA, The Man In Seat 61 and UNESCO. There’s also a couple of pages where members share insights into the wonderful worlds of travel writing and travel photography.
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BGTW Chairman John Carter, a travel journalist since 1961 and former presenter on BBC’s Holiday and ITV’s Wish You Were Here, said,
“As travel writers we have embraced each new technology as it has come along – the mass media in the form of newspapers and magazines, the seemingly insatiable appetite for guide books, radio, television and the Internet – and we have adapted our communication styles and the tools of our trade to suit each new development. The new website takes us another giant leap forward, serving both our members and those our members serve, and will play a major role in the future of the BGTW.”
It’s plain to see that the 18 months of planning and development that went into this new look site for members and travel professionals has definitely paid off. Check it out.
The Guild keeps in regular touch with other travel writers’ groups such as the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), the Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW), WriteClick (an Australasian-based but international association of travel-writers and photographers), the European Travel Press (ETP) and ETWA (the Egyptian Travel Writers’ Association).