Gold Award, Travel: Wilderness Travel, Journeys for the Year 2003

Hoping for an encounter with an elephant in Africa? A peek at a penguin colony in Antarctica? Or perhaps a simple stroll through Sicily? Whatever your dream destination, Wilderness Travel is likely to have a vacation to suit you. More important, perhaps, is that travelers are likely to be sold on Wilderness Travel as the vendor for their vacations.

Let’s start with what one judge described as “compelling photography.” Images include pictures of an elephant herd that travelers are likely to see on a safari, a cascading waterfall in the rainforest canyon of Costa Rica’s Rio Pacuare, and historic Inca pathways in Peru. A photo taken from atop Mont Blanc shows the white-speckled peaks of surrounding mountains jutting through the mist, with the rugged darkness of the mountain’s lower levels providing a stark frame.

In addition to raving about the photos, the panel enthused about the copy, including the trip summaries and itinerary details. The descriptions are sure to inspire interest in some of the lesser-known destinations. Never considered a visit to Bulgaria? The introduction for a walking tour of Bulgarian villages and monasteries just may entice you: “…We follow forest footpaths to ancient monastaries, scramble up a mountain peak in a dramatic national park, and hike into isolated mountain ranges that shelter the kind of truly bucolic villages that have largely disappeared in the rest of Western Europe…”

Thanks to the detailed service presentation, customers will feel that they’re in good hands with Wilderness Travel. One judge lauded the user-friendly pages devoted to trip registration: “Excellent guidance and forms.” And several panelists praised the catalog’s trip ratings, which indicate the physical exertion required for each vacation. “This catalog shows, through editorial and customer endorsements, that it cares about its customers,” concluded a judge.

Indeed, though it specializes in exotic destinations that take travelers from the plains of the Middle Eastern desert to the glaciers of Alaska, Wilderness Travel is also practical, providing everything customers need to know before signing up for a trip. In particular, the judges appreciated the information on the guides leading the various vacations. “I like that they introduced the tour guides up front, and then as you go through the book, you actually recognize those guides,” one judge explained. “It made it very credible to me.”

In short, the catalog is nothing less than awe-inspiring, agreed the panel. “There is such unity of marketing and merchandising, thematic consistency, and flawless execution that it is almost humbling,” summed up one judge. Little wonder that Wilderness Travel earned not one but two Gold Awards.

Wilderness Travel
1102 Ninth St.
Berkeley, CA 94710

Company founded: 1978
Director/production director/marketing director: Barbara Banks
Designer: Krystie Bonzelet (Bonzelet Graphic Design)
Merchandiser: Bonzelet Graphic Design
Copywriter: Pam Shandrick
Illustrator: Julie Mammano
Prepress provider/color separator/printer: Overseas Printing
Cover paper: 250 gsm
Text paper: 120 gsm
Trim size: 10″ × 12″
Number of pages: 128

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