Innovation In Travel Awards

By Jo Phillips

For the second year, the TUMI x WIRED Innovation In Travel Awards will take place to celebrate the companies, services and destinations delivering unparalleled experiences in the travel sector. WIRED readers get the opportunity to discover new ways to enjoy travel destinations around the world. The 2016 edition of the awards focuses on those producing unique and well-designed products and services, whether they be international travel hubs, airlines or individual bloggers. The most important aspect of the awards is that the winner must make the traveller feel that special globetrotter feeling.

These are the categories:

  • Best-connected hotel/ resort:
    Guests want to be connected to the rest of the world even when they are on holiday. This is why this category celebrates the best tech and slickest hotel experiences.
    Aloft Cupertino in California has installed an Apple TV in each room which can be used to check in, obtain the room and even unlock the door.
    Yotel Micro hotel in New York is featuring a robot concierge and offers high speed Wifi.
    The hotel rooms in Singapore’s luxury W hotel come with a complementary Handy Smartphone, Bose sound systems, mood lighting and a 40-inch TV.
    Hilton McLean Tysons Corner also features a robot concierge, a smartphone key system and electric car charging.
    London’s Eccleston Square Hotel offers 46-inch HD 3D TVs, an iPad2 for in-room concierge and free Handy Smartphones. The last nominee, Seattle’s Hotel 1000, uses heat-detecting sensors for accurate occupied/unoccupied room readings.


  • Best in-flight experience:
    This category is all about high standards in flying and the levels of technology and services of different airlines.
    Air New Zealand offers its passengers a huge range of films, audio and games, as well as enabling food and drink orders from touchscreen-backed seats that boasts an in-plane messenger, which is called “gate-to-gate” entertainment.
    There now is a 33.7cm screen for every economy seat at Emirates International.
    Thai Airways Thai Sky Connect offers in-flight WiFi in the airplane and supplies toys, games and books for children.
    In the luxury department, Etihad’s First Class apartments feature a two-metre bed, refreshments cabinet, large leather armchair and a private bathroom with shower.
    The Singapore Airline Suits are designed by French luxury yacht designer Jean-Jacques Coste and they feature a 90cm wide leather armchair, separate beds, and specialist inflight entertainment.
    Virgin America offers WiFi and added higher resolution monitors and the first 3D sound experience in the skies to the already popular platform that features on-demand food ordering, live television, latest release movies and a send-a-drink feature with text chat.


  • Best specialist travel agent/ concierge:
    This category features apps, services and platforms that offer the best travel experiences.
    The app Pana is an on-demand travel agent blending human knowledge with machine search.
    Kayak is bringing personalised holidays to millions and is available in 18 languages.
    Asia Aspirations lets users build itineraries online or by phone.
    Black Tomato is an award-winning travel company and it specialises in creating exceptional tailor-made experiences for its clients.
    Victoria James offers everything on travel, lifestyle management, business services and property portfolios.
    Urbanologie is perfect for exploring cities and and it offers news and exclusive content about the coolest new hangouts, pop-ups and events.


  • Best UK-based Travel Influencer:
    Travel influencers share their experiences and you can get inspiration for your next trip.
    Luxury Travel Diary gives recommendations for the best luxury accommodation and most exclusive transport.
    Chris John Millington at blends his passion for fashion with his love of travel while on the road with his trusty camera.
    Mr and Mrs Smith offer inspiration for luxury hotels and boutiques.
    The Style Traveller presents a guide to where to eat, drink, shop and party.
    At A Hotel Life, editor-in-chief Ben Pundole oversees more than 100 contributors for a local look at exotic locations.
    The Bon Vivant Journal gathers insider tips of the trade.



  • Best Transport Hub:
    These locations add as much to your travel experience as the destination itself whether they be high speed rail links, or local hubs.
    Singapore’s Changi airport features airy architecture and excellent rail links and since its launch in 1981, it has won more than 500 awards.
    Tokyo International Haneda impresses through its towering halls and top facilities and handled 75 million customers in 2015.
    The ultra modern Liège-Guillemins station is considered as the world’s most beautiful railway station.
    Kanazawa Station in Japan’s Ishikawa Prefecture melds spectacular contemporary architecture with 19th century prowess. Logroño high-speed train station in Spain continually wins plaudits for its stealth-meets-origami angular design.


Browse through the galleries and vote for your favourite nominees here to get the chance to win a luxury holiday for two to Sandals Barbados and a set of Tumi luggage. The winners will be announced on the 30 November 2016.