Frequently asked questions | World Guide Awards

We answer your most commonly asked questions about the Wanderlust World Guide Awards.

A group of hikers. (Shutterstock)

How does it work?

Who is the one person who can make your journey the trip of a lifetime? Whether you are travelling independently or in a group, whether you use their services for a day or a month, your guide makes all the difference. Wanderlust's co-founder, the late Paul Morrison, was passionate about the importance of guides and felt they were the unsung heroes of the travel industry – hence these unique awards, the only international ones of their type.

How are the winners chosen?

Between October and February each year, we ask the Wanderlust audience to nominate their top guide. We always have an incredible response – more than 3,000 guides are put forward. We whittle the list down to a shortlist of outstanding contenders, and then call for more testimonials, which the judging panel study before choosing ten winners.

While the awards given can vary each year, typically we always award a Gold, Silver and Bronze who each receive a bursary to be spent on worthwhile projects of their choosing or further education. However, we also give awards across categories, eg Top UK Guide, Top City Guide, Top Safari Guide etc. 

How do I nominate a guide?

Nominations are open from October to early February each year. Check the homepage for the online nomination form during this time. When filling it in, we will ask you to to provide information about the guide's knowledge, communication skills, and empathy - three qualities we feel are essential in every guide. 

I'm not British - can I still nominate a guide?

Of course! It's a global award. Anyone can nominate, wherever they are from. And the guide can be from any country too.

Can my company nominate one of its guides?

We like to have initial nominations from clients who have travelled with a guide. Obviously, there is nothing to stop you suggesting to your clients that they may want to send in a nomination.

I'm a great guide! Can I nominate myself?

No, it’s your clients we want to hear from! Obviously, there is nothing to stop you suggesting to them that they may want to send in a nomination.

My guide leads a few dozen people a year – will they get enough votes?

Judging is done on the quality of the nominations and testimonials, not the quantity.

How does the judging work?

We read all the nominations and produce a long-list. We then do some background research into the guides, and produce a shortlist. When the shortlist is published we ask for further testimonials from their clients and colleagues. From those, we are able to produce quite a detailed picture of each guide for the judging panel, who then make the final decisions.

Our guide has been shortlisted - how can I help them get to the next stage?

The quality of testimonials is key – we want to know as much as possible about the guide and why they deserve the award. All the shortlisted guides are exceptional, so we need to know what makes yours the best of the best. We need stories which demonstrate that they really have had an impact on their clients. 

How is the winner announced?

The winner is announced at a prestigious awards ceremony at London's Royal Geographical Society each October. The final 10 guides are invited to attend, along with any Highly Commended guides. The audience consists of the judges, supporters of the guides, travel trade, media, a number of the judges, plus the Wanderlust team.

What will the event consist of?

We're joined on-stage by judges and travel personalities. But the real stars are the guides themselves. 

The evening is always a fun and emotional one. It ends with a jovial drinks reception in the surroundings of the beautiful and inspirational Royal Geographical Society, where you have the opportunity to meet the guides and other guests.

Can I find out who won online?

We do announce the winning guide on the night of the ceremony online. But if you attend the awards you can meet the guides face-to-face, congratulate the winners and, of course, meet the Wanderlust team and some of the judges.

Our guide didn't win. Can I nominate them again?

Yes, of course. Indeed, even if they have won, they can be nominated again. We find the same names tend to crop up again and again, because they are so well regarded.

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