Justin Wateridge, managing director of Steppes Travel, has picked up the first-ever Contribution to Luxury award at the ttgluxury Travel Awards.
Justin collected the award during a lunchtime ceremony held at Rosewood London, one of the capital’s best hotels.
The winner of this category is selected by the team at ttgluxury , the leading magazine for the UK’s luxury travel industry. The win is especially significant for Justin, given this was the inaugural outing for the awards.
Editor of ttgluxury April Hutchinson said: “This award is designed to recognize individuals who are truly dedicated to what we see as the core elements of our luxury travel industry – conservation and the environment; cultivation of an amazing company culture; incredible service standards; industry-shifting innovation; and a true pioneering spirit.
“Justin certainly ticks the box in all those and has our utmost respect. And if this decade has been all about “experiential travel”, then he – and Steppes Travel – has always been way ahead of the curve.”
Hutchinson continued: “Justin is devoted to exploring truly hidden corners of the world with great sensitivity, pioneering completely new destinations and working with some of the best guides and experts in the world. He has also been spearheading the Beyond Travel festival in London for the past two years, which has been truly impressive in terms of its thought leadership and the number of amazing speakers it attracts in one place. It’s a testament to Justin and the company he leads that such high-profile speakers respect his direction and commitment as much as we do. Huge congratulations to Justin.”
Justin has been in travel for 25 years. Having grown up in Zambia and following stints as a tour leader around the world, he was told to “grow up” by his wife – so started working for Steppes Travel, where he has been since 2000, bar a five-year stint at Abercrombie & Kent.
He has recently led recce trips to Saudi Arabia, highlighted the safari potential of Chad, and been an advocate for the travel potential of Papua New Guinea.
He has been spearheading the Beyond Festival in London for two years, bringing together a roster of some of the most intrepid, adventurous and inspiring personalities of our time, creating one of the best-attended events to ever take place at the Royal Geographical Society.
The ttgluxury Travel Awards saw entries from more than 230 travel companies overall across 11 categories, spanning airlines, tour operators, travel agents, cruise lines and hotels, and also included an individual award for Contribution to Luxury, given to Justin Wateridge, managing director of Steppes Travel. The glittering ceremony for the inaugural ttgluxury Travel Awards was attended by 200 leaders from across the luxury travel sector.
For a full list of winners and more information on the event, see www.ttgmedia.com/ttgla
Contribution to Luxury @ TTG Luxury Awards – Justin Wateridge @Steppes Travel