Discover Newport in a press release on Thursday, March 2nd that they have been awarded first place (Gold winner) in the Destination Video category by the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) in its 2016 NATJA Travel Media Awards Competition. The competition, now in its 25th year, honors the “best of the best” in travel media.

“Submissions were judged by seasoned journalists, editors, photographers and PR professionals with hundreds of years of combined experience,” stated NATJA CEO Helen Hernandez in the press release. “Given the caliber of the entries, the judging was not easy.” Submissions for this year’s awards competition grew by more than 20% compared to last year.

“This is a real coup for us,” said Natalie Manning, creative director at Discover Newport in the press release. “We planned the critical shots for quite some time last spring and worked with the videographer, Matt Coakley at Blue Mantle Media, over the course of a week to capture stunning footage via state-of-the-art drone. Blessed with a week of gorgeous weather coupled with Matt’s creative editing, we were thrilled with the finished product.” The video, which can be seen on Discover Newport’s homepage (click on FEATURED VIDEO), has garnered more than thirty thousand views between the organization’s and Blue Mantle Media’s respective YouTube pages. Edited portions of the video are being used as b-roll for various media outlets worldwide and by meeting and event planners to promote the destination and ultimately drive delegates and special events to Newport.

“This is a tremendous honor,” said Evan Smith, president and CEO of Discover Newport in the press release. “Newport is one of the those places that looks as good as, perhaps even better, than the pictures. I’ve been a lot of places in the world and I can say that with confidence. This video truly captures the essence of our remarkable destination and we’re proud of the talented team that created and produced it.”

Discover Newport will accept the award at the 2017 NATJA Conference & Marketplace in May.

The mission of NATJA is to high-quality journalism by supporting the professional development of its members, providing exceptional benefits and valuable resources, honoring the excellence of journalism throughout the world, and promoting travel and leisure to the general public.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).