The North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) today announced that Paul Rubio won the award of merit (second place) in the 2009 annual awards competition in the highly prestigious Best Travel Guide category for the Out Traveler: South Florida. Mr. Rubio also won the award of merit in the category of Local Lifestyle for his piece “Key West: Cracked Conch Republic.” This awards competition, now in its 18th year, honors travel journalists, publications and destination marketing organizations. Winners will be presented with their award at the annual NATJA conference May11-14, 2010 in Reno, Nevada.

NATJA Awards recognize excellence in travel writing, photojournalism, multimedia platforms, advertising, marketing and public relations for the travel and tourism industry. NATJA received more than 500 submissions from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. “Choosing winners was difficult in this year’s competition because we received so many creative and well-executed entries in all of the categories,” says Helen Hernandez, CEO of the membership organization.

NATJA is the second largest travel media association in North America. Members include travel media professionals, convention and visitors bureaus and other travel marketing agencies. Members are provided with professional development workshops, peer-to-peer evaluation, web tools and networking opportunities. NATJA also publishes Travelworld International Magazine. For more information about the NATJA or a complete list of 2009 award-winners, visit