Luxury Travel Gold List Awards 2024

The Luxury Travel Gold List Awards from Luxury Travel magazine is the benchmark for travel accolades in Australia and across the globe, recognising the unique and dynamic nature of the luxury traveller seeking to explore the world responsibly and sustainably.

Entries for the 2024 Gold List Awards have now closed.

How does it work?

The Luxury Travel Gold List Awards welcomes standout submissions from Australia, the Indo-Pacific and across the globe.

Once our entry period is closed, we turn to the knowledge of our esteemed jury who will meticulously consider each entry based on category criteria and create a world standard shortlist which is then put to our readers to cast their vote and have their say.

Winners will be announced at our reveal party in Sydney on the 4th December 2024.

Award Categories

Recognising the most progressive experiences and destinations across land and sea, The Luxury Travel Gold List Award 2024 categories reflect our core editorial content pillars of authenticity, design and sustainability – awarding those who break barriers and do great things.

New Hotel or Resort Design

Luxury Hotel (51+ rooms)

Luxury Hotel Brand

Luxury Hotel or Resort – Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific

Boutique Hotel, Resort, or Lodge (1-25 rooms)

Boutique Hotel, Resort, or Lodge (26-50 rooms)

Sustainable Luxury Resort

Gourmet Luxury Tourism Experience – Australia & New Zealand

Regenerative Tourism Experience

Luxury Hotel Restaurant or Bar

Wellness Retreat or Resort

Luxury Family Experience

Indigenous Experience

Luxury Expedition Cruise Brand

Luxury Ocean Cruise Brand (Under 300 Guests)

Luxury Ocean Cruise Brand (301-750 Guests)

Luxury Ocean Cruise Brand (Over 750 Guests)

Luxury River Cruise Brand

Luxury Travel Advisor (Individual), Australia

Boutique Luxury Travel Agency – Leisure

Medium / Large Scale Luxury Travel Agency – Leisure

Boutique Luxury Tour Operator

Medium / Large Scale Luxury Tour Operator

Outstanding Contribution to Luxury Travel in Australia

Emerging Brand to Watch

Editor’s Choice

Meet The Jury

Alice Ellis

Editor, Time Out

Australia

Alice Ellis is the Sydney Editor at Time Out. After having earned a degree in Communications from UTS, she honed her writing and editing skills at magazines like Virgin Australia’s in-flight mag and Women’s Health, where she rose to deputy editor and won the Nutrition Journalism Award. Her love for sport, particularly women’s sport, led her to embark on marketing and content roles at the NRL and One Playground before returning to media at Time Out. Alice’s passion for writing, editing, and her hometown of Sydney shines through in her work and personal life, where she enjoys exploring the city with her family.

Anthony Goldman

Joint Managing Director, Goldman Travel Group

Australia

Anthony Goldman is the Joint Managing Director of Goldman Travel Group. After starting his career in travel, Anthony left the family business and forged a successful 20-year career in advertising and marketing. Anthony worked for several global organisations, including J Walter Thompson, Leo Burnett and Village Roadshow.

In 2012, Anthony joined his father, Tom, and brother, David, and embarked on an expansion program for Goldman Travel Group. Travel has always been in his blood, and the Goldman family is synonymous with travel in Australia. As third generation travel professionals, the Goldmans are at the forefront of travel advisory – with a mix of businesses in the corporate, leisure and cruise sectors, including Goldman Travel, Travelcall, The Cruise Centre by Travelcall and Smartflyer Australia.

Anthony is currently Chair of the Global Virtuoso Member Advisory Board, the first non-US member to hold this position, and is a Board Director of Link Travel Group.

Bernadette Chua

Content Editor, Big Splash Media

Australia

Bernadette Chua is the Content Director at Big Splash Media, overseeing all cruise, travel, finance and contract publishing. With a background in production for digital and print mediums, she brings a wealth of experience to the Gold List Awards jury.

She is currently the Editor of the luxury magazine Cruise & Travel, as well as the website, Cruise Passenger.

She was also at the heart of the rebrand from Cruise Passenger to Cruise & Travel, which now covers the best in luxury destinations, hotels, experiences and airlines.

She was also part of the launch team that created Explore for Australian Community Media – the brand’s weekly travel print insert that is distributed through publications like The Canberra Times and The Newcastle Herald.

Her expertise in content creation also spans across podcast, radio and television. She was also regular expert on Talking Lifestyle, discussing the cruise and travel industry. And she is also a host on Cruise Passenger’s podcast, Onboard with Cruise Passenger.

Brett Jardine

Managing Director, Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO)

Australia

Brett Jardine, Managing Director of the Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO)

Brett has over three decades of experience across the travel industry and since 2017, has overseen the transformation of CATO, a 23-year-old industry body that is the voice of the land-supply sector representing Australian tour operators and wholesalers.

Prior to his current role, Brett was at the helm of the Australasian office of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) from 2007 to 2017 during a period of significant and sustained growth for the cruise industry.

Danny Englman

Managing Director, FBI Travel

Australia

Danny Englman presently serves as the Joint Managing Director at FBI Travel, overseeing both the Leisure Team and the Independent Contractors associated with the agency. Danny was honoured with the title of “Best Travel Agency Manager” in Australia by AFTA at the NTIA (National Travel Industry Awards) in 2017.

Danny embarked on his journey in the travel industry in 2004 after graduating from William Angliss College. He gained valuable experience through various roles before joining FBI Travel in 2006 as a Travel Advisor. Over the years, he progressed within the organization, assuming the role of Leisure Team Manager in 2012, and subsequently taking charge of the Independent Contractor team a year later. Under his stewardship, the company prioritized growth alongside delivering unparalleled service excellence to its clients.

Today, FBI Travel stands as one of Australia’s most acclaimed premier luxury travel agencies, consistently recognized for its excellence. Voted as the Best Luxury Travel Agency in Australia by Luxury Travel Magazine for four consecutive years from 2015 to 2018, and awarded Best Travel Agency by AFTA (ATIA) at the 2017 and 2023 NTIA Awards, the agency’s reputation for excellence is unparalleled. Additionally, FBI Travel was honoured as the “Most Hospitable Agency” in Asia/Pacific by Virtuoso in their 2019 global awards and was a finalist in the Luminaries, Legends & Leaders 2021 Virtuoso Travel Awards.

Danny has played a pivotal role in shaping the industry landscape, having served on the Virtuoso Advisory Board where he contributed to refining the membership model for Virtuoso in Australia. Presently, he serves on their Regional Membership Advisory Board. He has also held honorary Advisory Board memberships for Tauck Tours and the Luxperience Trade Show.

Beyond his professional endeavours, Danny is trained in emergency medicine and actively volunteers with Hatzolah, a local community emergency response team collaborating closely with Ambulance Victoria to provide critical care to patients in need.

Dayana Brooke

Sustainability Scientist and Consultant, Dayana Brooke Sustainability

Australia

Dayana Brooke is a travel industry expert with over two decades of experience. However, her passion for sustainability and being an environmentalist truly sets her apart. As the founder of The Sustainable Traveller, she dedicates her energy and passion to advocating for travel experiences that prioritise the natural environments, communities, and low carbon emissions.

With a Masters in Sustainability and extensive knowledge of the impact of travel on the planet, Dayana helps businesses to take action by adopting simple yet effective measures, setting achievable goals to reduce emissions, and embracing innovation for positive changes.

Desmond Campbell

CEO, Welcome to Country

Australia

Desmond Campbell (Jangala/Gojok) is a proud Gurindji and Ngalakan/Alawa man who has a deep passion and wealth of experience working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations to achieve control and self-determination for First Nations communities as a whole.

As CEO of Welcome to Country Desmond has become a leading voice in the Indigenous Tourism Industry. In the first 6 months of his tenure as CEO he has travelled and spoken extensively to key stakeholders; Desmond has spoken at Tourism Australia’s signature Destination Australia Conference, the Mumbrella Travel Marketing Summit, numerous private corporate events, media engagements and all levels of government. But at the centre of his focus and inspiration as CEO is his commitment to elevating Welcome to Country as a First Nations led social enterprise and in turn its vision for more prosperous First Nations communities through economic opportunity. Welcome to Country currently have over 180 First Nations’ products and experiences listed through their platform and aim to grow there’s substantially.

Jan Henderson

Editor & Program Director

Australia

Jan Henderson is currently an Editor and Program Director of the INDE.Awards at Indesign Media Asia Pacific. Her previous roles have included Acting-editor of Indesign magazine, Associate Publisher at Architecture Media, Editor and Co-editor of inside magazine and Interiors Editor of Architel.tv. As Principal of Henderson Media Consultants she contributes to various architecture and design magazines, is a regular speaker at events and has participated as a juror for industry awards. Jan is passionate about design and through her different roles supports and contributes to design in Australia.

Jenny Evans

Managing Director, Traveltalk Media

Australia

Jenny Evans brings a unique blend of experience and expertise to the travel industry, having transitioned from a successful career in financial IT. With over twenty years of experience including a decade as the head of IT for Credit Suisse, Australia, Jenny has honed her skills in optimizing processes and leveraging technology to drive business success. Her background in IT enables her to streamline operations and enhance efficiency, allowing her colleagues to focus on the more fulfilling aspects of their roles while automating routine tasks.

Jenny’s journey into the travel industry during the challenging times of COVID demonstrates her resilience and adaptability. Despite being new to the field, she has quickly made her mark with her fresh perspective and innovative ideas. Beyond her professional accomplishments, Jenny’s personal experiences have shaped her passion for travel. Having lived in various countries, including the UK, Singapore, and Australia, and travelled extensively, she brings a global perspective and cultural sensitivity to her role. Her deep love for travel fuels her dedication to making a positive impact in the industry and driving Traveltalk Media to new heights.

Joleena Seah

Managing Director, GHC Asia

Singapore

After more than 20 years of luxury hospitality experience with some of the world’s most iconic brands, Joleena crossed the fence to join leading PR agency, GHC Asia, in 2019. Her current portfolio comprises critically-acclaimed hotel brands, luxury cruise lines, premium real estate, two of the region’s renowned travel trade shows as well as a bespoke travel designer. With her rare knowledge of hotel operations complemented by strong connections in the tourism industry, Joleena adds a fresh perspective to her strategic counsel that is aligned with the evolving needs of her prestigious clients. A passionate traveller with an insatiable appetite for new travel experiences, Joleena has been vigorously ticking off her Bucket List since Singapore’s border reopened.

Julie King

Founder & CEO, Julie King & Associates and Founder of Bonailie

Australia

Julie King is an entrepreneur and visionary leader, boasting over 37 years of global accomplishments within the hospitality and tourism sectors. Her extensive experience spans diverse roles, from managing luxury hotels in Scotland and Dubai to directing tourism consultancies in Dubai and Australia. Julie’s comprehensive understanding of international tourism enables her to identify and capitalize on key growth opportunities and transformative trends within the industry.

With offices in Sydney and New Zealand, her consultancy firm, Julie King and Associates, has garnered acclaim and awards for its outstanding work. As a result of her extensive experience working with 24 countries, Julie has solidified her reputation as a preeminent authority in the field of tourism and travel.

Julie King’s impact on the travel and tourism industry extends far beyond her consultancy work. As the founder of Bonailie, the world’s first purpose-led global community platform, Julie has disrupted the industry and sparked a new era of collaboration and positive change. Bonailie unites industry professionals from around the world, providing a platform for them to collaborate and drive meaningful impact. Through Bonailie, she has created a movement, inspiring others to join in the journey towards a more sustainable and responsible tourism industry

Katherine Droga

Chair, Global Wellness Institute

Australia

Katherine Droga is passionate about the transformational effect travel can have for people and the planet. She is founder of several successful global wellness platforms including Well Traveller and Well Traveller TV, Wellness wander and Australia’s premiere wellness industry event the Wellness Tourism Summit and its sister event Wellness Tourism Unearthed. Her consultancy firm, Droga & Co., specialises in wellness and sustainable strategy development for destinations, tourism experiences and events worldwide. Katherine is also proud to be the Chair of the Global Wellness Institute’s Wellness Tourism Initiative, a global think tank and research on wellness travel trends.

Kris Abbey

Founder, Spa & Wellness Magazine

Australia

Kris has been a wellness advocate since she was 15! She has studied Science, Exercise Physiology, PE and nutrition, and spends her time writing, speaking, and consulting on all things Spa and wellness.

She publishes Spa & Wellness Magazine and online directory (spaandwellness.com.au), inspiring readers to explore wellness in all its forms. Wellness and wellness tourism is a true love, and it is unlikely anyone has visited more wellness retreats around the world than Kris!

Her most recent undertaking is launching the Asia Pacific Spa & Wellness awards giving recognition to people and properties dedicated to improving the lives of others!

Kylee Daniel

Director of Partnerships, NZ Māori Tourism

New Zealand

After spending two decades in senior global roles across various sectors such as corporate, sports, major events, tourism, and government, Kylee is now working at New Zealand Māori Tourism. She is passionate about her contribution to the organisation, where she combines her corporate and industry experience to provide better marketing opportunities for Māori-owned tourism businesses and support their aspirations.

Kylee works closely with Tourism NZ and other influential industry and trade partners to leverage and maximize their global and national activity, improve narrative and storytelling, grow knowledge, create meaningful connections, and enhance the overall visitor experience.

Louise Goldsbury

Freelance

Australia

Louise is a freelance travel writer, who specialises in luxury cruising. She has sailed on 100 ocean, river and expedition cruises across seven continents. Louise also creates guides to make cruising less confusing – every step from choosing a cruise line to packing tips and saving money. Louise’s free Cruisey Life newsletter is available at cruiseylife.com.

Lyndey Milan OAM

Author, Celebrity Chef, Presenter, Judge

Australia

As one of Australia’s most trusted and respected food and wine icons, Lyndey was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her “services to hospitality, particularly to the food and wine industry, and to the community”. With more than four decades of experience, expertise and education, Lyndey is an accomplished author, award-winning celebrity chef, multimedia presenter, host, judge, EmCee, speaker, honoured industry leader, advocate, ambassador and in-demand consultant. Lyndey is also a popular tour host to Puglia, Japan and Morocco and an Enrichment Speaker for Silversea Cruises and P&O Cruises.

Lyndey’s dedication to connecting people is driven by her belief that food, wine and culture are powerful tools for creating meaningful connections. Delivering her engaging events, television shows, industry consulting, impactful advocacy work and proud work in regional Australia, Lyndey’s ultimate goal is for people to experience connection, nourishment, and inspiration through the universality of food.

Lynne Ireland

Managing Director, Inspired Luxury

Australia

Lynne Ireland has dedicated her career to launching and marketing inspiring hotels and experiences globally and was at the forefront of developing the luxury boutique hotel niche within the Asia Pacific.

Creating award winning strategies, Lynne is an early adopter and innovator, with an innate understanding of luxury, together with the importance of wellness, community, and sustainability, with first initiatives developed 25 years ago.

Multiple award winner of ‘Brand Management of the Year’ at HM Awards for Excellence, ‘PR Communicator of the Year’ by the ASTW, Lynne also served on the Boards/Advisory of ASTW, IMM, HSMAI and the Bestest Charity.

Madelin Tomelty

Editor, Luxury Travel Magazine

Australia

Madelin is the editor of Luxury Travel, leading the brand’s editorial voice both in print and online. Having began her career in fashion writing and editing, she transitioned to travel journalism in 2015 and since then has held various editorships in both print and digital media. In 2018, she became the Digital Editor & Features Writer at the previous iteration of Luxury Travel, where she led the successful redesign and relaunch of luxurytravelmag.com.au while penning long-form cover stories and features for the magazine. Madelin has also worked as a freelance copywriter for prestigious travel brands and has extensive experience as a presenter and host. She brings a strong interest in the constant evolution of the luxury travel market – along with a deep understanding of the modern Australian luxury traveller – to her role as juror in the Luxury Travel Gold List Awards this year.

Melinda Gregor

Managing Director, Gregor & Lewis bespoke travel

Australia

With more than 35 years in the travel industry, Melinda has worked in almost every area imaginable. Starting her journey with Qantas Holidays, she travelled the world extensively as an eagle-eyed 20-something. Melinda then relocated to Egypt to escort tour groups for three years through the most exotic parts of the Middle East, including Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Syria and Turkey. On returning to Australia, she became Operations Manager with the world’s leader in luxury, bespoke travel, Abercrombie & Kent. During her five years at A&K Melinda huddled with gorillas in Uganda, discovered palaces in India, trekked to Machu Picchu, cruised to Antarctica and explored the luxury lodges and game parks of Africa. Melinda then had two seasons at the exclusive El Questro in the Kimberley in Western Australia, before deciding to settle on the Sunshine Coast in 2004. Melinda with brother Stuart, launched Gregor & Lewis Bespoke Travel in 2008. Melinda has travelled extensively to more than 80 countries in the world, including many exotic and exclusive destinations. Over the last 18 years Melinda has also become an avid cruiser particularly on small ships (under 1200 people) and is the highest ranked Master Cruise Consultant on the Sunshine Coast, as recognised by the International Cruise Council of Australia. Melinda attends Virtuoso Travel Week annually and has attended ILTM (international Luxury Travel Mart) on many occasions.

Philip Englberts

Founder & Managing Director, PEPR Agency

Australia

Philip Engelberts is the founder and managing director of PEPR Agency, which is currently celebrating its 20th year in business. Over his 25-year career in Australia, Philip has built a reputation as a trusted public relations and communications advisor.

Leading a team of eight, specialising in hotels, cruise, destination management and travel distribution, Philip has been awarded communicator of the year by the Australian society of travel writers multiple times.

Rachel Kingswell

Rachel Kingswell

General Manager of Travel Associates AU/NZ

Australia/New Zealand

Rachel Kingswell is responsible for the management and performance of the luxury, boutique Travel Associates retail network of 60 businesses in Australia & NZ; as well as the Operational Leadership of the Luxury Travel Collection’s independent portfolio of members. She has spent 23 years in the travel industry, starting her career on the retail frontline and progressing due to her exceptional drive and passion for delivering results. She has held various roles in retail sales, management and operations in AU, NZ & RSA. Her luxury travel experience provides insight into the best way to deliver a high touch service, allowing her to passionately represent both the Travel Associates and Luxury Travel Collection brands, and the requirements of delivering strong financial results within a large, listed company. Rachel is a true extrovert and a committed ‘people person’, prioritising authentic partnerships in business, and forging meaningful relationships beyond the transactional into genuine connections. She is always willing to go the extra mile for suppliers and teams, genuinely caring for individual people, not just results. As a leader, she is supportive and encouraging, yet able to clearly articulate expectations, believing that open communication and transparency is the only pathway to credible, trusted relationships.

Sheriden Rhodes

Freelance

Australia

Sheriden is a travel writer and photographer with a particular soft spot for islands, good coffee and infinity pools. She’s a self-confessed Fiji-phile having visited the island nation almost thirty times while she’s also traipsed the globe visiting everywhere from Vietnam to Laos, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Hungary, Germany and Vanuatu – often with her now teen daughter in tow.

Recently she sailed from Budapest to Amsterdam on a river cruise, castle spotting and cycling along the Danube. She was also in Bali for Niyepe Day (day of silence) before heading to the Komodo Islands, home to the giant Komodo Dragon. Her stories have appeared in leading Australian and international publications including the Sydney Morning Herald, Good Weekend, the Australian Financial Review, Qantas the Australian Way, Country Style, the Robb Report, NZ Herald and many others.

Sujata Raman

Former Managing Director AU/NZ, Abercrombie & Kent

Australia

Sujata Raman has had an impressive career in luxury travel and hospitality in three continents, working in Asia, the Middle East and Australia. In her most recent role as Regional Head for an award-winning luxury travel company, Sujata set up offices across Australia, New Zealand and China.  Her keen eye for genuine luxury, coupled with a deep interest in travel trends, formed the basis of an ever-changing product portfolio and development of innovative travel products. Sujata’s love of the travel has seen her cross the globe, searching out innovative travel experiences for sophisticated travellers desiring real understanding of the wider world.

Susie Westwood

Managing Director, The Brandman Agency

Australia

Susie Westwood is a luxury travel leader and director of The Brandman Agency, Sydney. The agency has offices in New York, Los Angeles and London as well as Sydney and takes a global approach with its prestigious stable of travel, tourism, design and hospitality clients.

Susie’s background encompasses many successful years with the Vogue magazines Australia – Vogue Australia, Vogue Entertaining & Travel and Vogue Living Australia as an editor and writer and additionally in promotional roles, such as director of Public Relations, whilst they were published by The Condé Nast Publications in Australia and following.

Together with Melanie Brandman, Founder and CEO, The Brandman Agency, New York, Susie launched The Brandman Agency Australia in November 2011.

Thushara Liyanarachchi

Director Global Sales, Taj

Australia

Thushara Liyanarachchi is a name which for many, symbolizes inspiration, diligence & professionalism with warmth. Having joined the Luxury Hotel Group Taj, as a management trainee, twenty-five years ago, Thushara, through her hard work and dedication and an unparalleled zeal to deliver best results in least given time; has risen to Director Global Sales – Australia and New Zealand. Thushara has successfully developed and nurtured relationships with Global consortia’s, Fortune 500 companies, both Federal & State Governments and incentive houses. Her in-depth knowledge and ability to gauge the subtle market changes makes her indispensable in every role and responsibilities at the highest level, both for inbound and outbound businesses out of Australia and New Zealand.

Tracey Leitch

Owner & Director, Impressions Marketing Communications

Australia

Tracey established Impressions Marketing Communications over two decades ago and has had an extensive and vibrant career in communications.  A Post Graduate Business degree at the beginning of this journey.

Significant results have been generated for all clients across print, broadcast, web, social media and key influencer platforms which have in turn contributed significantly to their business profile, growth and success.

Tracey is a current member of the The Australian Society Of Travel Writers , The Travmedia network and the national PR hub The Social Diary.

Yvonne Verstandig

Managing Director, Y Travel

Australia

Yvonne Verstandig is the founder and Director of Y Travel, Australia’s premier luxury, purpose-led travel agency. With a team of experienced travel advisors, including those from boutique Virtuoso agency Trans World Travel, Yvonne curates hyper-personalized itineraries based on each traveller’s unique ‘travel DNA.’ Unique to Y Travel is Yvonne’s catalogue of eight specific ‘Y Factors’, which she personally developed as a way of categorising travel according to travellers’ different portals of passion. A tangible tool to encourage them to discover their “Travel Why”.

Some of Yvonne’s exceptional achievements include being Virtuoso’s Most Admired Advisor for the APAC region and receiving global nominations for Virtuoso’s ‘Most Innovative Advisor’. Her influential role extends to advisory boards such as Belmond’s and Silversea’s, shaping the industry as a luminary and leader in luxury travel.

Key Dates

  1. April 2024

    Entries Open

  2. June 2024

    Entries Close

  3. June 2024

    Judging commences

  4. July 2024

    Shortlist announced and Readers Voting commences

  5. August 2024

    Voting Closes

  6. September 2024

    Jury Deliberation Day

  7. December 2024

    Luxury Travel Gold List Awards Reveal Party

  8. December 2024

    Luxury Travel Magazine Gold List Edition On Sale

Key Dates

April 2024

Entries Open

June 2024

Entries Close

June 2024

Judging commences

July 2024

Shortlist announced and Readers Voting commences

August 2024

Voting Closes

September 2024

Jury Deliberation Day

December 2024

Luxury Travel Gold List Awards Reveal Party

December 2024

Luxury Travel Magazine Gold List Edition On Sale

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