Sunday, May 5 | 7-9:30pm
Holiday Inn Portland–By The Bay
Portland, Maine

The Bessie Awards honor women of impact in the travel space, particularly influencers, creative entrepreneurs, marketers, and industry members who have added a compelling voice to the travel industry.

The Bessies are named after Bessie Coleman, the first woman of African-American descent to hold a pilot’s license. We hope to invoke the spirit of Ms. Coleman by honoring the truly creative work of some of our biggest thought leaders and innovators in travel. We value the contributions of diverse women and nonbinary people of all ages and backgrounds who represent us as a community of travelers.



Voting open until Wednesday, March 20th @ 11:59pm ET.
(Open only to past WITS attendees.)





Media Awards

Creator of the Year
Honoring a creator who has gone above and beyond in the past year to challenge the status quo and grow in an impactful way as a thought leader in the industry.

Collaboration of the Year
In support of working together, this award celebrates a successful collaboration by or between creators to amplify traditionally marginalized voices and accomplish shared goals.

Ethical Travel Award
Recognizing outstanding content in the last year that builds social impact in the travel space and encourages more ethical travel practices.

Most Impactful Piece of Writing
This award showcases an inspiring, engaging, personal, and community-oriented piece of writing that made a positive impact in the last year.

Outstanding Work of 2018
(presented by Québec City Tourism)
Featuring the former WITS host destination, this award recognizes an outstanding blog or vlog covering Québec City. The winner will be selected from the list of articles on the WITS press page. If yours is not listed, make sure to submit yours via this form.

Industry Awards

Inclusion Award
For a brand that has shown outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion in the last year, whether in the form of a campaign, piece of content, partnership, or other initiative.

Influencer Campaign of the Year
For a brand that has implemented an outstanding influencer campaign in the last year.

Social Impact Award
For an individual or brand that has shown innovation in ways that have positively impacted the travel community, or has developed their marketing in a sustainable and impactful way.

Travel Startup of the Year
For an engaging, innovative and impactful startup that we as a community of influencers believe is changing the way we travel.

Wanderful Award
For a brand that has gone above and beyond to support, empower, and represent women in the past year.



Interested in sponsoring an award? Send an email to for more details.