The Business Travel Magazine was named Online Trade Publication of the Year at the 2021 Travel Media Awards. We spoke to its editor, Bev Fearis, about the balance between print and digital content, keeping readers up to date and being part of the travel trade family.

If you work for a trade publication, make sure you enter the awards this year – it’s free to enter and really straightforward.

What did it mean to you win this award? 

It meant so much as it has been a tough year in so many ways — working remotely and with a smaller team — but we’ve worked harder than ever, especially on our new website, so it’s fantastic that this was recognised.

What were your biggest challenges in the past year? 

Keeping on top of the fast-changing rules relating to travel due to Covid and understanding the implications for our readers. This has shaped our editorial content throughout the pandemic. For our bi-monthly magazine, our forward features list was pretty much abandoned and instead our content for each issue was planned as late as possible. That’s where our new website and newsletter came into their own, to keep our readers completely up to date and to make sure we provided timely, relevant and useful editorial content online.

Why is working in the travel trade media important to you? 

I’ve worked in travel trade media since 1995 so I feel very much part of the industry. I specialised in business travel early in my career and am now back in this sector of the industry and it’s great to be back. Travel is an industry that people rarely leave and, over the years, I’ve made lots of friends. Business travel was already a close-knit community and the challenges of the past 18 months have brought us all closer together. I feel part of a family.

What makes a really good travel news story? 

A good news story needs to be timely, relevant to the audience and well written. It should be something that our readers want to share with their colleagues.

Do you think travel reporting will change over the next few years? 

The move to digital content will continue and there will be new, exciting ways to present it. We’re already looking at ways to make our digital content more interactive and engaging. However, our readers tell us they still like nothing better than having a print publication in their hands, so we remain committed to our print magazine, too.