This year’s Travel + Leisure Smitty Awards recently announced their winners for 2014, an Awards Program which recognizes the companies in the travel and tourism industry showcasing the best and most innovative uses of social media.
I am proud to announce that I was a judge this year, together with Skift’s Jason Clampet, Twitter’s Mike De Jesus, Gogobot’s Travis Katz, BuzzFeed’s Ashley Perez, travel photographer Cole Rise, NBC Today Show’s Al Roker, Google’s Rob Torres and travel social media strategist Ann Tran. We reviewed hundreds of submissions and named winners and runners-up in 30 categories.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts took home the most awards with four wins and Virgin Atlantic and The Hertz Corporation received two wins in two categories each.
The winners and their campaigns can be seen on travelandleisure.com/smittys, with additional information available by searching #TLSMITTY on social media. The SMITTY Awards is also featured in the Travel + Leisure July 2014 issue which went on stands in mid-June.
To celebrate the SMITTY Awards, Travel + Leisure hosted an event on July 9, 2014 at the Refinery Hotel rooftop in Manhattan. Below are a handful of fun shots I took at the event.
Travel + Leisure’s Editor-in-Chief, Nancy Novogrod, Renee Blodgett, and Rich Beattie, Travel + Leisure’s Executive Digital Editor
Above, Four Seasons’ Laura Fairweather
Above, Tadashi Matsushita from ANA (All Nippon Airways), Renee Blodgett and Athanasios “Tommy” Sikolas of ANA (All Nippon Airways)
Above, Rich Beattie
Above and below, kudos to the Hyatt team & a few others :-)
Above, Travel + Leisure reps from social media, digital and design!
Above, Ruth Moran (left) from Tourism Ireland even made a showing :-)
Below are the Winners:
Best Use of Twitter: Virgin Atlantic; Runner-Up: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company
Best Use of Pinterest: VisitBritain; Runner-Up: Explore Georgia
Best Use of Instagram: Tahiti Tourisme North America
Best Use of Facebook: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Best Use of Tumblr: VisitSweden; Runner-Up: Sofitel Luxury Hotels
Best Chat/Hangout: Residence Inn by Marriott
Best Long-Form Video: Virgin American; WestJet (tie)
Best Use of Foursquare or Other Location-Based Services: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts; Hilton Hotels & Resorts; The Hertz Corporation (tie)
Best App or Technology: Roaming Hunger; Runner-Up: Oberoi, Mumbai
Best Blog: Butterfield & Robinson; GrandLife Hotels (tie)
Best Use of Social Media for Public Service: Montage Hotels & Resorts; Runner-Up: Fairfield Inn & Suites
Best Contest/Giveaway: The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel; Runner-Up: South African Tourism
Best Use of and Emerging Platform: Iceland Travel; Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts (tie)
Best Customer Service: Hyatt Hotels & Resorts; Runner-Up: Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau
Best Use of Social Media: Independent Travel
Journalist/Blogger: Amateur Traveler
Best Use of Social Media: Independent Travel
Photo Journalist/Videographer: Bohemian Trails; Runner-Up: Let’s Get Lost
Best Overall Use of Social Media:
Airline: Virgin Atlantic; Runner-Up: All Nippon Airways
Airport: Singapore Changi Airport; Runner-Up: San Francisco International Airport
Attraction: Vail Resorts; Runner-Up: Rocky Mountaineer
Car Rental Agency: The Hertz Corporation
Cruise Line: Princess Cruises; Runner-Up: MSC Cruises USA
Tourism Board/DMO/Marketing Association: Pure Michigan; Runner-Up: Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board
Global Hotel or Resort Chain: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts; Runner-Up: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Individual Hotel or Resort, U.S.: Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel
Individual Hotel or Resort, Global: The Westin Bund Center, Shanghai; Runner-Up: Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel
Outfitter: Big 5 Tours & Expeditions; Runner-Up: G Adventures
Travel Agency/OTA: Expedia
Travel Resource: Fathom; Peek (tie)
Restaurant/Food Truck/Market: Sam’s Chowder House
Non-Travel-Industry Company: Cubavera/Perry Ellis
The Travel + Leisure SMITTY Awards 2014 Jury
- Renee Blodgett, Founder and Editor, We Blog the World; CEO, Magic Sauce Media
- Jason Clampet, Co-Founder and Head of Content, Skift
- Mike De Jesus, Head of Travel and Tourism, Twitter
- Travis Katz, Co-Founder and CEO, Gogobot
- Ashley Perez, Senior Editor, BuzzFeed
- Cole Rise, Travel Photographer
- Al Roker, Co-Host and Weatherman, NBC’s TODAY Show
- Rob Torres, Managing Director of Travel, Google
- Ann Tran, Travel Social-Marketing Strategist
Below is a very short video snippet shot at the event of Rich Beattie congratulating winners and giving kudos to his team. They did an incredible job pulling together yet another year’s Awards event. Kudos to Rich and his team!