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ASTW & HKTB’s Rising Star Winner Announced

December 12, 2019 Association No Comments Email Email

Tayla Gentle has been named the 2019 winner of the Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW) and Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) Rising Star Award for her article www.adventure.com/seven-women-nepal published on the popular Adventure.com site.

Craig Platt, Managing Editor of Nine’s Traveller.com.au, who selected the winner from a shortlist of finalists, said: “”Tayla Gentle’s story took a relatively common travel experience – a lesson at a cooking school – and turned it into a powerful story with humour and heart. Her piece on the inspirational women of Nepal showed that there are ways to go beyond the surface and learn from a local culture.”

Judges included Hong Kong Tourism Board’s Regional Director – Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, Andrew Clark; former editor for RoyalAuto and travel writer for 20 years, Jeremy Bourke, and award-winning freelance journalist and media industry academic, Lee Mylne.

Tayla wins a hosted four-night famil to Hong Kong, sponsored by HKTB, with her subsequent story to be published on Traveller.com.au and considered for print. She also receives an annual Rising Star membership to the ASTW.

The award and prize were presented at the Melbourne ASTW Christmas lunch on December 5 by Sarah McCarthy, HKTB’s Manager, Public Relations & Media.

“I am incredibly grateful to be accepting the Rising Star Award – it’s such an honour to have my words recognised by the industry panel.,” Tayla said. “Travel to me has always been an antidote to ignorance, the best dose of perspective you can get, and it’s a privilege to think I might be able to share stories that help bring people and cultures together.

“As for Hong Kong, I am super excited to get on the ground and eat my way through the dai pai dongs. I’m also excited to work with the teams at Traveller and the Hong Kong Tourism Board to see what we can create together.”

Since studying journalism, Tayla has spent the last several years working as a freelance producer creating content for brands such as Intrepid Travel, Kathmandu and Pedestrian.TV. Her passion for adventure travel began when she moved to Guatemala as a 19-year-old and has since taken her into the wilds of Patagonia, the Mongolian steppe and the Lesotho Mountains.

The Rising Star Award collaboration between HKTB and the ASTW was introduced in 2018 and is aimed at encouraging a new generation of travel writers in Australia. The Award was open to writers and digital influencers who had their first paid travel story published in the past two years.

“The HKTB is thrilled to partner with the ASTW for the second consecutive year of the Rising Star Award and to be a part of an initiative that supports emerging travel writers. We look forward to welcoming Tayla to Hong Kong and working with the ASTW to continue to grow this award,” said Mr Clark.

For more information on the ASTW, visit www.astw.org.au or for information about Hong Kong, visit www.discoverhongkong.com/au

Image: Sarah McCarthy of the Hong Kong Tourism Board and ASTW secretary Jeremy Bourke are pictured with Tayla Gentle (centre), who was named the winner of the ASTW’s 2020 Rising Star Award

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