Tourism Media can look back on a year full of successes, from the small and big achievements behind the scenes, to the world-wide publication of our latest travel app, Viewfinder, and the ever-evolving Expedia travel guides.

Our jaw-dropping travel app, Viewfinder, was translated and made available in Japan and Mexico this year, with an aim to make it available in all major languages over time. Our tech team developed advanced CCE software, named aCCElerator, that allows us to collect tourism data and visitor reviews in a very speedy way. Conveniently, we are also using this collection engine to gather snippets of interesting and fun stories and other trivia that our own Tourism Media writers, producers and photographers come across while researching places, with the intention to share it on social media. Our in-house IT developers also came up with an even quicker way to rate our thousands of photos and places, among other advanced web technologies.

In 2015, Tourism Media’s global team of writers covered over 100 destinations. Some countries we had written about before, such as the United States, but we are roaming further and further out and are discovering new places every day. From tiny nations, such as Andorra and San Marino, to giants such as Russia
Some of the most interesting places we wrote about this year were Alaska, TaiwanJamaica, Poland, and Slovakia.

In collaboration with some of the world’s most popular ski resorts, we collected photos and practical or fun tips for these alpine destinations to develop a series of winter sports travel guides, which is a great resource for those who love getting active on the slopes. Our well-travelled writers get to pick the destinations they know and love best. For example, the Scottish project went to Joe, who is based in Edinburgh. Another Tourism Media writer, Charlie from Melbourne, visited Japan this year and did excellent research for our selected Japanese points of interest. Pip, from the US, grew up in Tasmania and loved revisiting old haunts while writing about this beautiful part of Australia.

All this text needs imagery and in 2015 our talented photographers and videographers have captured some 200 destinations. Not a day goes by without one of these intrepid men and women shooting a stunning national park, heritage building or captivating museum somewhere on the globe. From Acapulco to the Whitsundays, from the Bahamas to Vancouver and everything in between the far extremes of Patagonia and Iceland
Thanks to the careful planning of our experienced team of producers, all of this was done at the right time of year, and the right time of day, with all the correct permissions in hand. In the meantime, Tourism Media’s photo taggers were working hard to categorise the more than 55,000 pictures that our photographers submitted throughout the years.

This year’s travel videos about lesser known tourism destinations, such as CanberraSantiago, and Manchester, were also very well received and are inspiring people from all over the world to get off the beaten track. Tourism Media’s composers keep coming up with unique music tracks, inspired by typically local tunes, to accompany these videos. Some earlier videos reached important milestones this year, such as 2.5+ million views for New York, 1.5+ million for Iguazu Falls and 1+ million for St. Petersburg.

Most recently, we embarked on a quest to write about and film all National Parks in the US, in close collaboration with the NPS, and we are over halfway there already. One of our American editors, Nancy, is a true adventurist and nature lover and happened to have visited about a third of all these parks already. She enjoyed the chance to revisit the parks from behind her desk and her in-depth knowledge resulted in invaluable tips for our readers. Meanwhile, our photographers sent us emails with stories about long hikes across mountains and breathtaking landscapes. Among them, they exchange extraordinary pictures of the most exotic animals they have managed to get on film, such as the mighty brown bears and whales of Alaska and Australia, Florida’s curious manatees, the soaring condors of Chile and the flighty guanacos of Argentina.

While it will be hard to beat such an exciting year, we at Tourism Media are confident that we will achieve even more in 2016 and discover new hidden gems.

Happy New Year, everyone, thanks for following us on our journey to capture the world.