AFAR Named Best Travel Magazine in North America

AFAR Named Best Travel Magazine in North America
Year-old publication takes ‘Gold’ at 2010 Travel Journalism Awards

Release date:
October 20, 2010

Kate Stolarczyk,
Shoshana Bennett,

San Francisco, Calif. – Oct. 13, 2010 – Today AFAR Media announced that its travel magazine, AFAR, has been named Best Travel Magazine by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation. At a ceremony in Leipzig, Germany, the magazine—which launched in the summer of 2009—was presented with a Gold Lowell Thomas Award.

Judges cited AFAR as offering readers “a stunning mix of standing features (travel with a purpose, unusual places to stay) and stories on truly different topics (bog snorkeling in Wales?) from all over the world.”

“The entries were a breath of fresh air,” said Winston Cavin, coordinating judge. “Unfazed by the economy, travel journalists became twice as productive, twice as clever, and their work as enjoyable as ever.”

The judges noted that AFAR jumped right to the top of the category in its first year of publication.

“Our goal is to take travelers beyond the ordinary tourist haunts to experience the authentic essence of a place,” said Greg Sullivan, CEO and Editorial Director, AFAR. “Winning this recognition demonstrates we are achieving our mission. I am so proud of our team.”

AFAR magazine is helmed by some of the most talented names in the industry. Executive Editor Julia Cosgrove is the former deputy editor of ReadyMade. She has also worked for Time Out New York and BusinessWeek. Design Director Jane Palecek was the founding art director of Health and the former design director of Mother Jones. Managing Editor Jeremy Saum is the former managing editor at Diablo and former associate managing editor at Via. Laura Simkins, the founding consumer marketing director of Dwell, is audience marketing director.

“Our readers are deeply passionate about travel and experiencing their destination as the local residents do,” said Sullivan. “With every issue we aim to immerse them in the real experience of travel—experiential travel—from cultural and educational to adventure and eco-travel.”

“Despite the economy, we are seeing a steady increase in growth and positive overall response,” Sullivan added. “We started with a circulation of 50,000, are at 75,000 now and expect to be at 100,000 by early 2011. We plan to continue the growth in the coming years, as I think we have tapped into a growing movement.”

The November/December issue of AFAR hits newsstands this Thursday. Highlights include:

Resident: In Edinburgh, Scotland, the owner of Loopy Lorna’s Tea House shares her favorite spots for a pint of ale, rare cheeses, classic books, and a countryside ramble.

Spin the Globe: In every issue of the magazine, AFAR chooses a destination at random, by literally spinning the globe. With little notice, the magazine sends a writer on a spontaneous journey. This issue, Matt Gross travels to Tunisia, where a quest to get beneath the surface leads to a delicious meal deep in the medina.

Features: Bestselling author Eric Weiner (The Geography of Bliss) describes his experience as an international wedding crasher; Writer Frank Viviano explores the new creative spirit of Paris, in the ethnic enclaves that are changing the face of the modern city.

About AFAR Media
AFAR Media is a multi-platform brand focused on experiential travel. Its goal is to help inspire and guide travelers to experience their destination as the local residents do. Headquartered in San Francisco, with an office in New York City, the company launched the award-winning AFAR magazine in August of 2009. For more information, please visit

About the Lowell Thomas Awards

The awards are named for Lowell Thomas, acclaimed broadcast journalist, prolific author, and world explorer during five decades in travel journalism and are sponsored by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation. A list of the winners and the judges’ comments are available at For information about the contest or the Foundation, please visit