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2007 Travvies: Meet the finalists, meet the judges, and vote!

First off, I’d like to thank everyone for getting into the spirit of things and making so many great nominations. Speaking purely for myself, I discovered a great number of sites that I had never read before, and that I’ll be sure to add to my feed reader.

The judges’ decisions are in, and it’s time to announce the finalists, introduce the judges, and start the voting!

Second, HUGE thanks to the judges for reviewing all these sites and selecting their favorites. I’m sure you’ll join me in thanking them for generously donating their time and effort. Their names and backgrounds are revealed later in this post.

Voting begins immediately and runs for one week, through 6pm, Central Standard Time, February 28, 2007.  One ballot per person, so please make all selections before hitting “submit.” Please note that the finalists’ names on the ballot are links which will open to a new window. The order of finalists is randomized on every ballot, so no site has top billing every time.

Without further ado, here are your finalists. Congratulations again to all finalists, and best of luck!

FINALISTS: BEST TRAVEL BLOG Brave New Traveler, Girl Solo in Arabia, Gridskipper, National Geographic, Inside  Traveler, Newyorkology 

FINALISTS: BEST DESTINATION BLOG Europe String, Johnny Jet, Let’s Visit Asia, Newyorkology, Yucatan Living 

FINALISTS: BEST INFORMATIVE/PRACTICAL TRAVEL BLOG Cheapest Destinations Blog, The Cranky Flier, The Perrin Post, Today in Travel, View From the Wing

FINALISTS: BEST GROUP-WRITTEN TRAVEL BLOG Brave New Traveler, Gridskipper, Lost Girls’ World, TripHub Group Trip Advisor, Vagablogging

FINALISTS: BEST SINGLE-AUTHOR TRAVEL BLOG AdventureGirl, The Cranky Flier, Flight Level 390, Killing Batteries, Travel Sweeps

FINALISTS: BEST PHOTOGRAPHY ON A TRAVEL BLOG Exposed Planet, Flight Level 390, Life Vicarious, Michael Simon on the Road, Notes From the Road .

I’d like to extend a huge thanks to the judges, who task was by no means an easy one. Here they are, in alphabetical order:

John Brownlee is a writer for and editor of the Table of Malcontents blog, a wonder closet of ephemera spotlighting the fringe of art and culture on the web. After spending most of his youth backpacking through dozens of countries, he has a bone to pick with Rick Steves. He lives in Dublin.

Matthew Daimler is the Founder and CEO of SeatGuru is an award winning travel website which provides information about airline seating and amenities to over 30,000 visitors each day. Matthew is a frequent travel blog reader and is honored to participate as a judge in the first annual Travvies.

Henry Harteveldt is vice president and principal analyst for travel research at Forrester Research. He analyzes and projects how consumer and business adoption of new technologies will impact the sale and purchase of travel services. Television, radio, and print media regularly consult him for comment on industry and consumer trends. His previous work includes senior positions at GetThere, Fairmont Hotels, The Trump Organization, Continental Airlines, TWA, and CKS Partners.

Darryl Jenkins is currently a professor at the Ohio State University. Previously, he was at George Washington University for fifteen years and served as director of the Aviation Institute. He is the author of several books on airline economics, and is a regular commentator on U.S. television. He is a Virginian Country Gentleman, living in Fauquier County, where he is also the county’s largest raspberry grower.

Michele McDonald is editor and publisher of Travel Technology Update, an industry newsletter that is read by executives of online travel companies, industry suppliers, global distribution systems, investment analysts and technology companies that are involved in electronic travel distribution. She also is a contributing writer for Air Transport World. She has covered the travel industry for more than 25 years. Previously, she was editor of Travel Distribution Report and managing editor of Travel Weekly.

Michael Miller is a founding partner of The Velocity Group, a Washington D.C.-based aviation consulting firm specializing in airline and aircraft consulting, strategic communications, economic forecasting, business analysis, aircraft and network analysis and other areas of aviation. Previously, he was the Editor-in-Chief of Aviation Daily, the largest daily publication in the airline business. He regularly appears in television and print media as an expert on airlines, aviation, safety, and international issues.