Special Contribution Award

We’re excited to announce publishing entrepreneur and travel writer Tony Wheeler, co-founder of Lonely Planet, is the worthy recipient of the 2022 Special Contribution Award.

The Special Contribution Award is presented by the Travel Media Awards organisers and advisory panel for lifetime contribution to the field of travel media. This year the Travel Media Awards advisory board is pleased to recognise the significant impact of Tony’s travel writing and business acumen.

An Asia ‘hippie trail’ trek in 1972 led to the creation of Lonely Planet and the New York Times to describe Tony as ‘the trailblazing patron saint of the world’s backpackers and adventure travellers.’ With 100 million Lonely Planet guidebooks published in English by 2010 and more than 500 different titles, Tony created an extraordinary legacy of travel publishing.
After departing Lonely Planet, Tony has gone on to develop the Wheeler Institute at London Business School (concentrating on entrepreneurship in the developing world), the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne, the Planet Wheeler Foundation’s education and health projects in the developing world, Global Heritage Fund’s archaeology sites and the Australian Himalayan Foundation. He continues to travel extensively.
Tony will be present to receive the special contribution award at the 2022 Travel Media Awards  on Monday 26th September, coming all the way from Australia to be part of the celebrations.
Tony Wheeler

Tony Wheeler, publishing entrepreneur and travel writer

Previous Winners

Ade Adepitan

2021, Ade Adepitan, Paralympic medalist, TV presenter and journalist

Levison Wood, adventurer, author and photographer

2020, Levison Wood,
Adventurer, Author and Photographer

Hilary Bradt, Founder of Bradt Guides

2019, Hilary Bradt,
Founder of Bradt Travel Guides

Lisa Minot, Sun Newspaper Travel Editor

2018, Lisa Minot,
Travel Editor of The Sun

Rick Stein, Travel Media Awards

2017, Rick Stein,
Television Presenter

Michael Portillo

2016, Michael Portillo, 
Journalist and Broadcaster 

Simon Reeve Travel Media Awards

2015, Simon Reeve, 
Author and TV Presenter