“You damn well want to win”: Julia Zaetta talks ATAs and expanding into travel

Lauren Croft

Buckle up, because this year, there’s a brand new way to celebrate the successes of the amazing men and women that make up the Aussie travel industry.

That’s right, the Australian Travel Awards are less than two months away!

The judges are looking over the entries as we speak – but you can still grab early bird tickets until the end of October right here

There’ll be 37 awards given out on the night, including the highly coveted Grand Prix Award for one company making the biggest, most impressive splash in the industry overall. The victorious winner of this award will also receive an advertising package worth over $75,000 across the Seven West Media network, which Julia Zaetta, editor-in-chief of Better Homes and Gardens, is particularly excited about.

“There’s an enormous amount of pride for me to see our masthead up there under the world travel,” she told Travel Weekly.

“What I’m really excited about is the number of travel awards that there are. It’s just fantastic. And the fact that we can give a media prize is also something we’re really looking forward to.”



“I think recognition for work well done is always important, but I think the other thing about awards is that it enables companies and colleagues to get to know a little more about each other, and I think that coming together for industry bodies is really important because they can exchange good information,” Zaetta said.

“I think the other thing about awards is that it makes you try a bit harder because you damn well want to win.”

Better Homes and Gardens’ baby boomer majority audience is travelling more than ever before – which is why the publication is moving into the travel sphere in a big way.

“We’re planning on developing travel significantly. What we want to do is extend the number of pages in the magazine and make [travel] it’s own section.

“So we want travelling with Better Homes and Gardens to be just as successful and satisfying as everything else we do for our 2.5 million readers in the magazine. So we’ve got that whopping audience, plus we intend to go online,” Zaetta said.

That whopping audience will help decide who the winner of the People’s Choice category will be, so keep your eyes peeled in the coming weeks to vote!

Zaetta added that Better Homes and Gardens‘ support of the awards, and the fact that the company is launching headfirst into travel, could mean agents have a new audience they can reach.

“It’s so exciting that we’re going to be launching into this, in the same way that we do all our other content. And they’re going to thank us for it, too.

“[Presenting the awards] enables us to let people know that we’re going to do this amazingly well in such a big way. So that for all the travel industry people out there, there’s a whole new area where they haven’t been before, and hopefully this audience they can reach which they may not have reached before,” she said.

Baby boomers are travelling more than ever – they’re more energetic, active, and financially stable than previous generations of over 55’s have ever been.

Which is why Better Homes and Gardens is changing – both in how they communicate with their audience, and what they’re covering.

“We’ve changed addressing that age group because they’re not slow, they’re not tired, they just want to keep doing as many as exciting and colourful and amazing things that they can,” Zaetta said.

“We’re also going to be working out what [travel] specials we’re doing across the year, and in fact, the truth of it is, we just want to cover the world in as many ways as we can.”

The Australian Travel Awards will be held on Friday, November 30 at Paddington Town Hall, Sydney. Grab your early bird tickets here and find all the nitty gritty details on the website here.