The Bessie Awards honor women and brands of impact that are propelling the travel industry forward. We are thrilled to recognize the finalists for the 2024 Bessies!
The excitement is palpable as we proudly present the finalists for the much-anticipated 2024 Bessie Awards! This year has seen a remarkable surge in participation, with a record-breaking number of votes. Join us on April 11, 2024, in Salt Lake City, as we honor the trailblazers and innovators in the travel industry who are shaping the future.
The Bessie Awards: Recognizing Excellence and Innovation
Named after the pioneering aviator Bessie Coleman, the Bessie Awards spotlight the women and brands propelling the travel industry forward. We are thrilled to acknowledge and celebrate their outstanding contributions across nine distinct categories.
For those who have been a part of past Women in Travel Summit (WITS) events or are members of the esteemed Bessies Society—a distinguished group comprising all past Bessie Award winners—voting is open until February 1.
And if you haven’t secured your spot at the WITS Creator Summit, now is the time! The Bessies serve as a captivating prelude to a weekend filled with inspiration and energy. Whether you’re a travel content creator or a professional in the travel industry, our cornerstone event promises an unforgettable experience. Grab your tickets here.
Without further ado, let’s unveil the finalists in each category!
Collaboration of the Year
In support of working together, this award celebrates a successful collaboration by or between creators and brands to develop meaningful partnerships and accomplish shared goals.
Creator of the Year
Honoring a creator who has gone above and beyond in the past year to challenge the status quo as a thought leader in the industry.
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.
- Anita Francois, Black Travel Summit
- Arianna Ambrutis, TTC IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Action)
- Vanessa Fondeur-Adams, Latino World Travelers/Latino Travel Fest
JourneyWoman Award (presented by JourneyWoman)
For a person who has demonstrated long-term commitment to working in and making the travel industry better.
- Julia Simpson, president of the World Travel & Tourism Council
- Stephanie Jones, founder and CEO of Blacks in Travel & Tourism
- Teara Fraser, lead executive of Iskwew Air
Social Impact Award
For an activity, campaign, or other initiative by 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.
For the go-getter who has thrived in the past year in building her own empire and carving out a path for future leaders in the travel space.
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.
Most Impactful Piece of Writing
For an inspiring, engaging, and community-oriented piece of writing that has encouraged dialogue and interaction in the last year.
- Call You When I Land, Nikki Vargas
- “Can travel help save the world’s most threatened languages?” Joliene Carolina
- “Dear Air France: My Wheelchair Is Like My Legs, Not My Luggage,” Tanzila Khan
Wanderful Award (presented by Wanderful)
presented by Wanderful
For a brand that has gone above and beyond to support, empower, and represent women in the past year.
A heartfelt congratulations to all the nominees and a special shout-out to the finalists listed above. Your dedication and contributions to the travel industry are truly commendable. We eagerly anticipate a night of celebration and recognition on April 11, 2024! ✨️
Learn More About Bessie Coleman
The Bessie Awards are named after the iconic Bessie Coleman. Bessie was denied entry into the American aviation schools because of both her race and gender. Despite this, in 1921, she became the first American to earn an international pilot’s license from the prestigious Federation Aeronautique International in France.
Bessie Coleman defied the odds, earning this license two years before her more famous contemporary, Amelia Earhart. Wanderful and the Women in Travel Summit honor her legacy and encourage all women to defy the odds.
Learn More About WITS
The WITS Travel Creator Summit is the premier event for travel’s top marketing talent. Creative entrepreneurs, influencers, DMOs, and industry come together to discuss future innovations, build dynamic collaborations, and change travel worldwide, all while supporting and empowering a diverse community of women. Click here to learn more about WITS.