Their entries revealed a ‘visual feast of extraordinary, moving and inspirational moments’, according to Wanderlust travel magazine which organises the annual awards.
Lyn Hughes, editor-in-chief of Wanderlust said: ‘We’re in awe of this year’s readers and their entries – they really don’t make the choices easy for us!’
Tony Cowburn’s atmospheric shot of the Jurassic Coast (above) won the Landscape category – prompting competition judge and professional photographer Paul Harris to remark: ‘There is a wildness in this image that you would not associate with Dorset. Crisp, airy and saturated.’
Vittoria Ricci claimed honours in the wildlife category with a dramatic moment of a hippo escaping a pool in Tanzania, East Africa.
Meanwhile, a former school and prison in Phnom Penh, Cambodia clinched honours in the People category for Charlotte Currie’s entry entitled ‘Reflections’.
Kasia Nowak’s photo of the Tiger’s Nest monastery in Bhutan won plaudits from judge Paul Goldstein who noted: ‘Photographed literally millions of times, never as well as this.’ The image came top in the Icon category.
Hughes added: ‘Every year, I am overwhelmed – not just by the high standard of photography, but by how inspired and passionate the travellers who captured these images are.
‘As always, it was incredibly tough and an absolute delight to pick just a handful from thousands.’
The winning portfolio of five themed images captured by a professional photographer was awarded to Christopher Roche who won the £3,000 prize.
The shortlisted entries were first showcased at the Destinations 2016 event in Manchester.
Judges for the 21st Wanderlust Travel Photo of the Year included Simon Calder, senior travel editor at The Independent.
The 40 shortlisted amateur entries were showcased at the Destinations 2016 travel show at Olympia, London from earlier this month.
The four amateurs bagged photo assignments to Western Australia, courtesy of Austravel.
For more details, including information about next year’s competition, visit http://travelphotooftheyear.co.uk