At Matador Network, we believe travel is a force for good, and we envision a world where travel is a transformative experience. A lot has changed over the past few years. Now more than ever, people are turning to the experts to help them navigate our world and gain access to the people, places, and cultures that make getting out there so fulfilling.

So we assembled a panel of experts from various areas of the travel industry who share this belief along with Shannon Marcec, Matador Network’s editorial director, Tim Wenger, Matador Network’s outdoor and transactional content editor, and Morgane Croissant, Matador Network’s deputy editor and culture editor. Together, we created a list of destinations, brands, and movements that best embody our mission of making travel transformative in 2022.

Introducing the Matador 2021 Travel Awards Panel:

Doug Lansky

Doug Lansky has traveled to over 120 countries and authored 10 books, including for Lonely Planet and Rough Guides, and previously wrote a syndicated travel column and hosted a Travel Channel show. His byline can be found at top publications like National Geographic Traveler, Esquire, Men’s Journal, and Skift. Lansky is also a travel speaker who has spoken for the United Nations World’s Tourism Organization and to sold-out audiences at National Geographic Headquarters and nearly 100 universities.

Rachel Pohl

Rachel Pohl is Montana based mountain landscape artist and adventurer who creates colorful, vibrant landscapes of the American West and beyond. She is an artist, adventurer, humanitarian, and environmentalist. She can be found on instagram at @rachel.pohl.art.

Collette Stohler

Collette Stohler is the director of marketing at Roamaroo, an award-winning travel blog that documents her life traveling the world full-time with her partner, exploring locations off the beaten path, and inspiring others through her active vagabond lifestyle.

Naledi K. Khabo

Naledi K. Khabo is the CEO of the Africa Tourism Association, a global trade association promoting travel and tourism to Africa. ATA membership includes African governments and their tourism ministers, tourism bureaus and boards, as well as airlines, cruise lines, hotels, resorts, and travel agents.

Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon

Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon is a travel writer, editor, and on-screen host also known as JetSetSarah. She is a self-described “carivangelist,” who ventures to the Caribbean’s beaches and beyond to share the diverse culture, lifestyle, and people of the world’s favorite warm-weather destinations.

Jeff Jenkins

Jeff Jenkins is the founder and CEO of Chubby Diaries, an online community for plus-size travelers who are passionate about seeing the world, experiencing new foods, and learning clever hacks along the way.

Natasha Martin

Natasha Martin is a tourism consultant who specializes in adventure travel and responsible tourism development. She has worked on the frontier of the travel industry for destinations like Myanmar, Nepal, Greenland, and Namibia. She is currently the head of Tourism Innovation and Engagement at NEOM.

Charles Gifford Post

Charles Gifford Post is an ecologist, creative, ecological brand consultant, co-founder of the 501c3 The Nature Project, a National Fellow at The Explorers Club, and a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission.

Rue Mapp

Rue Mapp is the founder and CEO of Outdoor Afro, a national not-for-profit organization with offices in Oakland, California, and Washington DC. Mapp oversees a carefully selected and trained national volunteer leadership team of more than 100 men and women who represent 56 cities around the world.

Kristin Braswell

Kristin Braswell is a writer and entrepreneur committed to changing the world through travel. She has visited more than 20 countries and created lasting memories with people and places that inspire her through her brand, CrushGlobal.

Elizabeth Ojo

Elizabeth Ojo is the director of operations for the African Leadership University School of Wildlife Conservation. The pan-African education program is helping people from across the continent become principal changemakers in the business of conservation for people, animals, and the land through real-world experience.

Zachary Burr Abel

Zachary Burr Abel is the actor-turned-points-and-miles blogger behind Monkey Miles. His work helps readers navigate the world of award currency and max out travel plans with points, awards, miles, or vouchers.