The 2020 Bessie Awards are tentatively scheduled for:

Saturday, May 2, 2020
Kansas City Marriott Downtown
Kansas City, Missouri

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 and Native 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.



Congratulations to our 2019 Winners & Runners-Up!


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.

Oneika Raymond (Oneika the Traveller)

Annette Richmond (From Annette With Love)
Carol Cain (Girl Gone Travel)

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.

Fat Camp (Annette Richmond)

Curvy Kili Crew (WHOA Travel (Allison Fleece & Danielle Thornton) & Christa Singleton)
The First All Black Female Travel Influencer Experience in Barbados (Danny Rivers-Mitchell)

Ethical Travel Award
presented by Lokal

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

Jessica Festa (Epicure and Culture)

Abbie Synan (Speck on the Globe)
Alison Abbott (Green With Renvy)

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.

The color of adventure: When will travel show more diversity? (Lola Akinmade Åkerström)

1 Woman, 12 Months, 52 Places (Jada Yuan)
The worst day of my life: finding 145 stranded whales in New Zealand (Liz Carlson)

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.

Keeping It Local–Appreciating The Food Scene in Quebec (Empty Nesters Hit the Road)

Plan Your Own Quebec City Food Tour By Hitting These 13 Spots (For Two, Please)
The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Québec City (Wanderluluu)

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.

Black History Month Rides with Lyft (Jessica Hansen)

2018 ABFF Awards Sponsorship by Hilton (Andrea Richardson)
LGBTQ Travel Safety initiative by AIG (Rhonda Sloan)

Influencer Campaign of the Year

For a brand that has implemented an outstanding influencer campaign in the last year.

Hostelling International Sleep for Peace

MNstagram Booths
Palau Pledge

Social Impact Award
presented by AIG Travel

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.

Impact Travel Alliance (Kelley Louise)

Hara House (Jazzmine Raine)
Pathways to Safety International (Paula Lucas)

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.

Wanderstay Houston (Deidre Mathis)

Jack and Ferdi (Anne-Fleur Andrle)
Kind Traveler (Jessica Blotter)

Wanderful Award
presented by Wanderful

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

The Globetrotter Lounge Podcast (Lisette Austin)

Unearth Women (Nikki Vargas, Elise Simmons, Kelly Lewis)
Womentum (Prabha Dublish, Derek Tu, Aaron Leon)



Interested in sponsoring our 2020 awards? Send an email to for more details.