Why we traverse the world just for you
We’re for you in the world of travel. And we travel the world for you. And that’s just the point — that we have a team of highly experienced travel writers based in Perth who travel for you.
What you read in the pages of Travel on a Saturday or Thursday, or in our special Travel magazines or online is what our travel writers and photographers have just seen and experienced.
Usually, the first story from an assignment will be published the Saturday immediately afterwards. So you’ll know that we’ve been there, done that, and this is just how it is.
We blend inspiration with practical advice, insider knowledge, tricks and tips — all from a completely trustworthy team of independent professionals.
And we do that from a WA perspective, because the world looks different from here. South-East Asia is on our doorstep, Europe’s become a piece of cake by flying through the Middle East, Africa’s a regional neighbour and somewhere to visit more than once.
And no one is better placed to add just a dash of chili to the regular travel diet than Travel Editor Stephen Scourfield. Twice voted Australia’s Best Travel Writer, the recipient of a UN Media Award and having been travelling and writing for more than 40 years, he has the experience to offer truly valuable, safe and sensible advice.
“In all these years of travelling and writing, the most important point for me has been the moment between the readers and writer,” he says.
“When someone reads something I’ve written, there is just the two of us there. Reading and writing is personal. It requires the trust of the reader and the honesty of the writer. That’s all I focus on. I’m totally committed to the integrity of that moment.”
With him are senior writers Niall McIlroy, who has been in our Travel team for more than a decade, talented writer and photographer Gemma Nisbet, and Grace Millimaci, focusing on our expanding digital publishing.
An extraordinary bond has developed between our readers and these writers.
In any one year, they will travel to Europe and the Americas, Asia and Africa, the Antarctic and the Arctic — but always in pursuit of travel that is sensible to suggest for WA travellers.
And no travel team knows our own big backyard better. Scourfield has travelled more than a half a million kilometres on the roads and tracks of WA over more than 30 years and published many books set in WA.
That experience is poured into our travel pages at strategic times of the year, giving readers information at a just the right moment when it’s timely to be planning travel in a big State with vastly varying seasons.
Our Travel team also writes and produces a series of bespoke colour magazines. The Great North West magazine helps readers to plan trips to the Kimberley and Pilbara. Short But Sweet focuses on one, two and three-night stays in WA. Warming Up Winter looks at the mid-year pleasures of travelling south to warm fires and fine food, and to the big blue sky and perfect weather of the WA’s northern dry season.
To add to that relationship with our readers, we also now have West Travel Club, with its own bespoke website, westtravelclub.com.au, in addition to the travel coverage at thewest.com.au/travel and through social media.
We stream the online Travel Club Show — a TV show on the web.
Made in the studios of Channel Seven in Osborne Park, we have so far aired more than 80 Travel Club Shows, in which our travel staff have featured everything from river cruising in Europe to motorcycling in Africa. We have filmed everything from intimate moments with lion cubs to the features of newly launched cruise ships.
Out eTravel newsletter, which Travel Club members receive, features other video work too, and streams audio from our weekly Talking Travel segment on the SpiritFM radio network.
West Travel Club presents at least 20 events a year. Our Travel lead photographer Mogens Johansen teaches how to take photographers on themed Photo Walks, from the bush and blooms of Kings Park to the street scenes of Fremantle and on to learning the tricks of night photography.
He also helps readers understand the technical and creative fundamentals of photography in tutorials held at our home at Newspaper House.
Scourfield works with a chef and composer to make bespoke Round the World Dinners, where stories, food and music combine to take guests to five countries in one extraordinary evening.
Aviation Editor Geoffrey Thomas’s Flying the World dinner is not only an update on the latest in aviation, but a gala dinner, too.
We have practical Meet the Team sessions, where readers can get advice on everything from travel insurance to air travel.
And we now lead Travel Club tours, taking readers to places where we have particularly strong ties.
Scourfield has so far taken groups to India, Madagascar and Oman.
He says: “These are places for which I have a real affinity, and very strong friendships. They are places where I feel I can really add to someone’s experiences. If I couldn’t do that — well, you wouldn’t need me along.”
In India, he gave a spoken-word performance on a rooftop overlooking the Taj Mahal accompanied by pre-eminent sitar player Intzen Khan.
He says: “Travel Club Tours are like writing a story just for the travellers with me — picking up on their interests, taking them to meet my friends.”
And come to think of it, “friends” is a word he uses a lot.
Scourfield says: “I think of our readers as my best friends. They pay us the courtesy of spending that intimate time with us — reading us. Readers trust us, rely on us, and I know they make decisions based on our advice. They turn up at our events to spend time with us, and they join us on tours. They ring and email us for advice, and we always give them a full answer.
“That’s personal. It’s a real friendship, with all the pleasures and responsibilities that come with that. It’s something we all take seriously. We’re here for you. That’s the point.”