Lonely Planet Wins 2007 SATW Lowell Thomas Awards

New Orleans guidebook and lonelyplanet.com take home SATW gold, travel journalism’s highest honor 

Oakland, Calif., (October 23, 2007) – Lonely Planet’s award-winning website, LonelyPlanet.com, received a Gold Award in the Internet Publication / Web site category and an additional Gold Award for its fourth edition New Orleans in the Guidebook Category at the 2007 Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Awards. Members of the Missouri School of Journalism faculty, coordinated by Prof. Judy Bolch, judged the contest. There were 1,490 entries, a record high.

According to one of the judges, “(Lonely Planet’s website) is a rich treasure chest of travel information. Unlike many other sprawling sites, it uses smart organization and attractive presentation as navigation tools. In addition, the site allows its users to add their own content through travel tips and lively discussion boards. The writing and photography are stellar.”

Lonely Planet’s fourth edition of New Orleans written by Tom Downs took top honors in the Guidebook Category. As one judge noted, “This book is a graceful call to visit, support and love New Orleans. While the hurricane is discussed, the primary purpose is to guide readers through the post-Katrina landscape. There are thorough sections with information on history, art, music, architecture, Hurricane Katrina and Mardi Gras, followed by detailed descriptions of where to eat, sleep and shop. While this book can be easily scanned for important information, it is just as enjoyable to read in one sitting.”

The competition, open to all North American journalists, recognizes and rewards outstanding travel journalism in the categories of newspapers, magazines, books, Internet media and individual articles. Winners were recently announced at the convention of SATW in Birmingham, England.

“What an incredible validation of Lonely Planet’s core vision,” said Brice Gosnell, Lonely Planet Regional Publisher, Americas, “For over 30 years Lonely Planet has created compelling content for destinations spanning the globe. Whether in a guidebook or on the web, the goal of our products remains the same: to connect travelers with the world around them. For our New Orleans guide, editor Jay Cooke and author Tom Downs worked closely together to cover post-Katrina New Orleans in a socially responsible way that gave a fair portrayal of a city on the verge of re-emergence.”

The awards are named for the late Lowell Thomas, acclaimed broadcast journalist, prolific author and modern-day world explorer who achieved numerous “firsts” during five decades in travel journalism. For more information about SATW and Lonely Planet, go to www.satw.org  and www.lonelyplanet.com.