Announcing the Bessie Awards at the 2019 Women in Travel Summit


We are pleased to announce that Wanderful is expanding the Women in Travel Summit programming in 2019 with the addition of a new awards ceremony, and the call for nominations is now open.

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 adventurous spirit of Ms. Coleman, a woman who truly paved paths for others after her, by honoring the creative work of some of our biggest thought leaders and innovators in travel,” said Beth Santos, Founder and CEO of Wanderful. “We value the contributions of diverse women and nonbinary people of all ages and backgrounds who not only seek to represent our travel industry, but to change it for the better.”

The inaugural Bessie Awards will take place on Sunday, May 5, 2019 at the Holiday Inn Portland–By The Bay in Portland, Maine, to mark the closing of WITS ‘19. The evening will begin at 7pm and conclude at approximately 9:30pm.

Honorees will be awarded in the following categories: Creator of the Year, Collaboration of the Year, Ethical Travel Award, Most Impactful Piece of Writing, Outstanding Work of 2018, Inclusion Award, Influencer Campaign of the Year, Social Impact Award, Travel Startup of the Year, and the Wanderful Award.

Nominations will be accepted until 11:59pm ET on January 22, 2019. Click here to submit a nomination.

For inquiries about sponsoring an award, send an email to for more details.

Press release.

Ariel Goldberg