Travel Photographer of the Year

Man taking pictures in water

Travel Photographer of the Year


One of the world’s high-profile photo competitions, Travel Photographer of the Year based in Suffolk, had its eye on the future when it launched a membership website with insightful content and tailored advice.

Celebrating the company’s 20th anniversary this year is a major milestone as founder Chris Coe strengthened the business by creating this new resource ‘Eye for the Light’. It has stories for those who want to hone their travel photography skills, listen to engaging podcasts and connect with others. With the support of £2,372 from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s Small Grant Scheme, Chris was able to realise this new venture which took perseverance and belief in the project.

Over the years, Travel Photographer of the Year award has developed an enviable reputation with a database to match as keen photographers and travellers from over 150 countries submitted their best images. But Covid brought travelling to an absolute halt and heavily impacted Chris’s business.

During lockdown, Chris explored ways to keep afloat, and the idea for Eye for the Light was born, making the best use of the database and its network of skilled photographers.

Chris says: “When we started, we were one of very few competitions but now there are many. Most of these only last a few years and then disappear. We have a huge reputation internationally as well as domestically and are known for both quality and professionalism. Innovations like Eye for the Light add another dimension which the others don’t have and combined with professionalism and longevity it will keep us at the top.”

The new website had a full launch in September last year and having another string to its bow has helped the business become resilient. Chris says: “The pandemic affected customers and sponsors, and the awards were exposed. It took great effort and a lot of persistence to keep them going. The site helped to weather this storm in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Cashflow problems restricted the marketing activity at the launch and then after an initial surge growth has been slower than anticipated and projected.

“The past year has been about growing the resource it offers. Now, we can really push forward with attracting new customers.” The initial outlay has been recovered and the site is moving into profit.

Visitors to the new site are enjoying it and as the travel sector emerges from a hiatus of activity it is now catching up. Commenting on how travellers are experiencing the site, Chris says: “This is developing now and gaining interest. We’ve added podcasts with some amazing photographers and these are very well received. We can’t rest on our laurels though, we have to keep innovating.”

Find out more to help grow your business. Check eligibility and contact New Anglia Growth Hub’s business advisers direct on 0300 333 6536 or email

Grants normally cover up to 40% of your total project costs. Find out more about the Small Grant Scheme here.

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