Hilary Bradt accepting the Special Contribution Award at the Travel Media Awards 2019.

Hilary Bradt, founder of Bradt Travel Guides, who was awarded the Special Contribution Award at the 2019 Travel Media Awards, has spoken about why guidebooks still play in important role — even in these difficult times.

“The days when we could travel anywhere we wanted, almost at whim, seem like a distant and beautiful memory,” Bradt said in an interview with National Geographic Traveller (UK). “Now even a few miles from our home feels like a foreign country. So, for now, the written word has become our virtual reality and has the power to transport us to those places we know we’ll journey to once this crisis is over.”

Planning and welcoming

In this challenging environment for the travel industry, Bradt is passionate about the value of guidebooks not just to those planning trips, but to those welcoming travellers to destinations.

“Because it’s the destinations, as well as you travellers, who dream of the holidays you’ll enjoy when this is all over. By buying a guidebook now, when you have ample time to digest it, you’ll be able to plan your next trip knowing you’ve done your bit for the people in those countries that depend on you.”

Find out more about the early days of adventure travel publishing and how Bradt Guides came to be established here.

2020 Special Contribution Award

The recipient of this year’s Special Contribution Award will be announced on 23 November — we can’t wait to let you know who it will be.

Tickets are on sale now for the Travel Media Awards, taking place on 25 January. Click here to get your ticket.

Key dates

9 November — finalists announced
23 November — recipient of Special Contribution Award announced
25 January — Awards ceremony takes place