Rothschild Safaris has won many awards in the past 21 years.

But, what does it all mean?

This is what we know so far:

Every year more Travel Award Competitions crawl out of the woodwork of the giant marketing machine that promotes travel everywhere. Over time this has diluted the impact of the top accolades and as competition between the competitions become more fierce the emphasis is shifting even more with many awards now requiring a financial contribution to seal the deal.

Here are our shortlist of the best Travel competitions in the business for Travel Operators:


Travel + Leisure, World’s Best Awards

A yearly award with a wide array of categories including the world’s best Safari Operators and Tour Operators.

We have won this award three times and we usually make the shortlist. It definitely makes a difference to how often the phones ring!

Recently we were told that a company was using a clever workaround where clients gave them permission to vote by proxy. This is clearly not cricket!

The way we do it? We find that the best way to be in with a chance at winning a Travel + Leisure gong is to build a group of devoted clients through excellent service. (Yup, the hard way is the only way… but luckily it is also incredibly satisfying along the way.)

When:

The 2019 survey is open at tlworldsbest.com from around November to March. The results will appear in the August issue of Travel + Leisure magazine, and on T+L’s website.

How:

Everyone can nominate someone.

Everyone can vote once for a nominee.

You may promote the survey according to the rules that you can find here.

What you should know:

The official hashtag is #TLWorldsBest.

There are very strict rules around the competition logos and wording and you have to pay to use the logo or wording even if you are a winner. There is no fee for participating.

They do contact you well before the official results to let you know if you are a winner – then you have to keep the secret until after the announcement!


Travel + Leisure, The A-List

A yearly award for Travel+ Leisure’s top Travel Advisors. In the 17th year of the awards, they will showcase 117 Travel Advisors from around the world

When:

If the editors approve your request, you will be sent an application at the end of the calendar year.

How:

If you are a travel advisor and want to be considered for the A-List, request an application at a-list@travelandleisure.com.

After receiving input from the Travel + Leisure Travel Advisory Board (select owners and operators who consult with us on industry and consumer trends) and other experts, the company will vet each and every one.

What you should know:

The application is quite full on and you have to be prepared to do a deep-dive into your company to answer all questions comprehensively. Again – Travel + Leisure will contact you if you are on the list before the announcement.

There is an annual membership fee (currently US$4000.)


Wendy Perrin’s WOW list

Wendy Perrin started her list when she was still working at Condé Nast, they did not publish a new list for a year after her departure.

When

The 2019 list has just been published.

See more here.

How

It is possible to apply to be vetted for the list.

What you should know

It has been said that it is easier to get into Harvard than make it onto this list.

Ms Perrin is a journalist and no -one can pay to make it as one of her trusted travel advisors.


Condé Nast, Travel Specialists

When

It is published in March.

How

This is the original list (begun by Wendy Perrin – see above) The Editors of Condé Nast pick this list after the completion of an extensive survey and followed by a thorough vetting of at least three clients.

What you should know

Good ideas for getting noticed by Condé Nast include cultivating a relationship with the editors and advertising in the magazine.

There is no cost involved in being on this list.

See more here


Condé Nast, Reader’s Choice

When

This is another list that runs through public votes between 1 April and 30 June. Voters (only from America!) can win prizes and the winners are announced around the middle of July.

How

Anyone can submit someone for consideration.

If you are a nominee you may promote your nomination and ask people to vote for you.

What you should know

Thirty-one years ago when the Reader’s Choice awards started people voted with pencil and ballot paper!

The median age of voters is now readers in their late 30 (quite significantly down from the original voting readers in their late 60s)

See more here

Images via Jon Tyson, Brett Jordan, NeONBRAND, Xan Griffin