Simon Calder is journalists' journalist for travel

The Independent’s senior travel editor Simon Calder has been named the top travel journalist in the UK following an exclusive survey for Press Gazette.

Calder came out as number one in a top-fifty list of travel journalists published in the September edition of Press Gazette magazine. The list was compiled following a survey of more than 100 journalists working in the travel field.

As well as writing for The Independent, Calder present’s Simon’s Travel Clinic for LBC 97.3 and produces a weekly video blog for

Asked by Press Gazette what his advice is for aspiring travel journalists, he said: “Get a job either in the travel industry, or one which allows you to travel.

“I used to frisk people at Gatwick (for a job, not a hobby), and began to understand how aviation fits together; working as a rep would be an excellent grounding; and if you can persuade any guidebook publisher these days to bankroll a journey to the ends of the earth, congratulations.

“If you’re submitting pitches for newspapers and magazines, do the obvious: research the market. Read the thing, work out what regular slots there are, and suggest something suitable. And make sure you submit clean copy, on time.

“Competence, not brilliance, is the first requirement of a commissioning editor. Oh, and ignore the internet – talk to people instead.”

Number two in the Press Gazette list was AA Gill of the Sunday Times, followed in third place by freelance Nigel Tisdall, who is also travel editor for Marie Claire.

Calder also came top in a separate survey of 1,000 members of the public carried out for Press Gazette by ICD research.

When a weighted sample of members of then public were asked to name their favourite travel journalist the top answer was Calder, followed by broadcasters Michael Palin, Judith Chalmers and Alan Whicker in that order with writer Bill Bryson in fifth position.

The full travel journalists top 50 is only available to those who subscribe to Press Gazette

1. Simon Calder, senior travel editor – The Independent

2. AA Gill – The Sunday Times

3. Nigel Tisdall – Freelance, Marie Claire

4. William Gray – freelance

5. Chris Haslam – freelance, Sunday Times

6. Andrew Eames – Freelance

7. Ian Belcher – Freelance

8. Nick Redman – Sunday Times Travel Magazine, deputy editor

9. Graham Boynton – Group travel editor Telegraph Media Group

10. Nigel Richardson – Freelance

The Press Gazette top 50 travel journalists was sponsored by Royal Caribbean International.

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