Chris Haslam

The Times

The role of Chief Travel Writer at The Times and Sunday Times demands extraordinary versatility, hugely varied knowledge and a contacts book spanning the world - not to mention an understanding of what readers want, on their smart phones, tablets and from their print paper. Haslam’s 2022 output ranges from aviation industry analysis and explanations of tourism legislation to scoops from recovering or newly-reopened countries such as Australia - where he was the first UK journalist on the ground - and Sri Lanka, which he visited in the wake of the troubles to report first-hand the challenges facing the tourism industry. He’s also prolific: in the past 12 months he has visited 17 countries; written on subjects as diverse as rewilding in Asturias; elephant conservation in Zimbabwe; the crises at Britain's airports; and the scourge of the fake review industry.

Writing about the need for sustainability in travel since 2008, he has proposed this year nutrition-style labelling for holidays, listing the carbon output and social environmental benefits of all itineraries; the establishment of a flat-rate £1/$1/€1 levy on all holiday bookings to create a global conservation fund; and has called on tour operators, airlines and hotels to redefine the nature of luxury to accelerate the transition of the industry to carbon neutrality. A writer who has never refused any assignment, his acutely-observed travelogues are rooted in the history, politics and milieu of the destination, but never lose the childish sense of wonder of a happily lost tourist. In the year to date he has slept in trains, planes and automobiles - the latter most notably when stranded by floods in New South Wales; spent 58 nights under canvas while researching the 14th edition of the Great British Beach Guide and published a children’s book set on the Norfolk coast. He is a writer of terrier-like determination whose energy captivates readers from digital article to print feature - and back again.