Wrap Up: Lonely Planet Travel Award for Best Destination Blog

Go Visit Hawaii wins 2009 Best Destination Blog Award! As I promised on Friday, I wanted to share a few more details from the Lonely Planet Travel Blogs awards ceremony. Andy and I had been on the fence for weeks trying to decide if we should go to San Francisco for the awards party. Essentially, at the last minute, we decided to just do it. We booked flights on Wednesday afternoon and flew from Raleigh just four hours later arriving at our hotel in San Francisco at 1am on Thursday. It turns out that it was a good decision to go as it was extremely exciting to learn that we had won – live and in person! (The photo on the right is of me in mid-speech expressing my thanks for the award. My heart was pounding as I delivered this impromptu speech. See more photos here.)

Many thanks to Matthew Cashmore and the team at Lonely Planet for recognizing the efforts of travel blogging by organizing the awards. For me it was really exciting to see Lonely Planet blazing this trail and putting their trusted travel guide name on the awards. With a very grateful heart, I’m happy to say that I share the Best Destination Blog award with you, the Go Visit Hawaii readers and ohana. I have so many people to thank for this honor and I’d like to take my best attempt at recognizing all their support.

  • In my speech at the awards ceremony, I specifically mentioned my thanks to you, the readers. You have helped to foster the growing community here. Your comments and emails are a big driving force behind making Go Visit Hawaii an award winning blog.
  • The Honolulu Star Bulletin wrote a very nice article about the nominations. Thank you to Erika Engle for sharing the good news with Hawaii.
  • Kris from Kaanapali Dreamin‘ wrote a post that caused my eyes to well with tears of joy. On his March 3rd post he asked his readers to vote for Go Visit Hawaii. (Scroll down to the March 3rd post in the March 2009 archives to see his kind post.)
  • L.P. NEENZ is probably one of the most well known Hawaii-based bloggers and she wrote a blog post urging her readers to vote for Go Visit Hawaii. It was really an honor to have her support. Thank you, NEENZ, for making me feel like part of the ohana.
  • Bruce and Yaling from Hawaii-Aloha urged their pod-cast listeners to vote for Go Visit Hawaii.
  • So many of my twitter friends voted and asked their followers to vote.
  • My Wolfpack friends were a big support.
  • Thank you to Mom, Daddy, Michelle, Kelton, Tanya, and Rebecca, my immediate and extended family that, without any prompting, helped bring attention to Go Visit Hawaii.
  • Of course, I can’t even begin to tell you how much of a support Andy has been. Blogging is a roller coaster ride and many times Andy has pushed me from those valleys back to the upward peak. He has been my fan from the start, my technical support, and wonderful photographer.
  • I thank God for creating a place as beautiful as Hawaii, blessing me with visits there, and giving me the inspiration to write this site.

Writing this post has actually made me nervous. I am afraid that I may have failed to mention someone. If I have failed to mention you, please bring it to my attention.

  1. Congratulations! You totaly deserve it!

    It’s great that Lonely Planet is embracing and encouraging destination and travel blogs like yours and all the other nominees.

    Travel related blogs have a great future. I think we are going to see a lot of growth in this area over the next year.

  2. Congratulations! Travel blogs are really catching on, they’re really nice to read. I’m glad that Lonely planet is rewarding blogs like yours.
    Congrats once again.

  3. I echo the thoughts from these comments and the ones from over the weekend. Congratulations, you have more than earned it!

    I’m glad to hear you made it out to SFO for the awards, too. I bet it must have been pretty fun meeting and networking with all those fellow travel bloggers. Especially after the suspense of finding out you won. Perhaps we might see a few quick tips or advice from GVH in the next print edition of Lonely Planet’s Oahu guidebook? 🙂

    I think Dave made a good point about the future of travel related blogs. While review sites like TripAdvisor and others offer many great details, I’m starting to hear more and more about about scams and tainted reviews from bots and phony reviewers. With blogs like yours, everything is in depth, sincere, witty, engaging, and of course has the active reader community that is so valuable. These first-hand and unbiased views of travel destinations from blogs like GVH are like pure gold.

    And I couldn’t forget about the wonderful photos of the most beautiful islands in the world, too. Kudos to Andy for capturing the visuals to your penmanship so well. I imagine having spectacular views of islands through those photos and memories of your many trips are such a wonderful muse.

    Now, didn’t Nathan say something about a celebration party in Oahu? 😉

  4. @ Andy – aw, well thanks for saying that! It’s certainly not a flattering photo of me, but it was a shot that was live from the event.

    @ Dave – I agree that Lonely Planet is being exceptionally forward thinking by embracing travel blogs. Other travel guides may feel threatened by travel blogs, but Lonely Planet has chosen to embrace social media. I don’t think travel blogs will eliminate travel guidebooks, but I do think that the two are complimentary. The biggest advantage that travel blogs offer is that they are more “real time” and agile and written from the perspective of a real person who is not trained write without a personality.

    @ Stefan – yes, yes, yes! Your vote counted and thank you very much for that! I love that Go Visit Hawaii has faithful readers in Europe like you.

    @ Vinita – Many thanks for your kind words and first time comment!

    @ Kris – It was lots of fun meeting some of the other bloggers and Lonely Planet folks. I must admit, I was so nervous and tired that I probably came across as if I had no social skills. Doh! 🙂 Thank you, Kris, for your ongoing support! And, I’m going to warn you that when we get a chance to meet up one day, I’m giving you a hug. 🙂

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