Since 1980, Thomas Cook, the U.K.-based travel giant, has been honoring the art of travel writing with its annual Travel Book Award, announced each fall. Aside from inspiring readers to travel, the award also spurs greater travel-book sales, according to Thomas Cook spokesperson Joan Lee. "Booksellers benefit
by the increased sales generated by the promotion of the [Travel Book] Award," Lee said in a statement. "Many online booksellers feature the short-listed titles on their Web sites, and their sales of these featured titles increase significantly."
Thomas Cook plans to announce the books short-listed for the 2002 prize in early summer, allowing booksellers to promote the travel books as "holiday reading." Furthermore, the company will make point-of-sale material available -- free of charge -- to bricks-and-mortar stores, as well as Travel Book Award bookmarks for online booksellers to include in order fulfillment. POS material and bookmarks will be available in late spring.
The winner of the Travel Book Award receives £10,000, and entries are open to all books published in the English language during the previous year. Books may only be submitted by their publishers.
Last years Travel Book Award winner was In the Empire of Genghis Kahn by Stanley Stewart (HarperCollins).