TravelMole won Trade Publication of the Year — Online at the Travel Media Awards in October. We chat to editor Bev Fearis about travel, the trade industry and everything in between

1. What do you think makes a good travel story from a trade perspective?
A good travel trade story needs to have all the same qualities as a good consumer travel story — accuracy, balance, timeliness, significance, interest — but crucially it should impact directly on the working lives of our readers. Saying that, we also like to throw in the odd quirky travel story, which might not directly affect our readers but will amuse or entertain them. A good example would be a story last year about a woman who was thrown off a flight in Orlando after her emotional support animal turned out not to be a cat or dog — both allowed under US airlines’ rules — but a squirrel! That story got a lot of reads.

2. Which TravelMole story got the most responses in 2019?
The biggest story for us was the failure of Thomas Cook. Our extensive news coverage — including the months of speculation leading up to the collapse, the massive repatriation effort and the fallout for the employees and the wider industry, along with in-depth analysis and comment throughout — generated the most responses. We also ran lots of heart-warming stories about how the industry rallied round in support.

3. Any trade trend predictions for 2020?
At this time of year, we’re inundated with press releases from travel companies sharing their trend predictions for the year ahead, so we’re well versed in what the trade is forecasting. Top of the list is an even stronger focus on sustainability, a higher demand for experiential travel and wellness holidays and a rise in the number of solo travellers.

4. What’s on your travel hit list for 2020?
The editorial team is looking forward to attending various overseas travel trade conferences this year, with events already confirmed for Marrakesh, Jerusalem, Istanbul and Dubai.

5. Do you have any advice for anyone looking to get into trade travel writing?
All of our editorial team have an NCTJ qualification and worked as reporters on local or regional newspapers before joining a trade publication. The important thing is to get a good grounding in news reporting, then you can get the trade knowledge and contacts on the job.

6. Where do you keep the award?
We all work remotely, so right now it’s on my desk in my office in West Sussex. Next time we have a team meeting, I’ll pass it on so we can all have a stint.

7. If you could win any other type of award, what would it be?
It would have to be a Brit Award or a Grammy, as I fancy myself as a bit of a singer, but they’d have to significantly lower the standards.

Read TravelMole’s award-winning articles here.

Follow @BevFearis on Twitter

Entries for the Travel Media Awards 2020 will open in March.