Guide Award winner announced

3rd October 2008

Esam Abd El Salam is the winner of the 2008 Wanderlust Paul Morrison Guide Award, kindly supported by oneworld.

Esam guides in his native Egypt for Intrepid Travel. He was awarded his £5,000 winning bursary at the Royal Geographical Society in London last night by Bill Bryson and Wanderlust co-founder/editor-in-chief Lyn Hughes.

Esam was described as a “colossus among guides” by Martin Gray, who himself won the silver award in the inaugural competition back in 2006 and was on this year’s judging panel.

Esam is planning to spend his bursary on improving his knowledge and setting up an education club for children in Egypt, where they can learn to read and use computers.
Daniel Evans, who is based in England but guides in Italy for Art History Abroad, won this year’s silver award.

“Daniel has clearly touched and changed people’s lives,” Bill Bryson commented during the judging.

Daniel plans to use his £3,000 silver award bursary to pay for disadvantaged school-leavers to come on Art History Abroad tours.

This year’s bronze award was won by Sameer Singh Rathore, who guides for Imaginative Traveller in his native India.

Sameer is the only guide to have been shortlisted for the Award every year since it began.

“The quality and consistency of the testimonials we’ve had for him over the past three years speaks volumes,” said Lyn Hughes.

Sameer is going to spend his £2,000 bursary on local community projects in Chandelao near Jodphur, particularly supporting local widows.

Watch video highlights of the ceremony and exclusive interviews with the winning guides here
Go behind the scenes with the winning guides as they're interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Excess Baggage here

Do you know a special guide that deserves wider recognition? Then nominate them for the 2009 Paul Morrison Guide Award here

Special thanks to airline alliance oneworld ( for its generous support; The U Foundation ( for contributing to the bursaries; and Nomad Travel Stores ( and Powertraveller ( for extra prizes.

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