They’re here! Our first-annual 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.

We named them after the great Bessie Coleman, the first woman of African-American descent to hold a pilot’s license, and the winners will be announced live on stage at the Women in Travel Summit North America 2019 in Portland, Maine.

If you’ve attended WITS before, you’re officially a voting member. If you haven’t, come join us this year and you’ll be able to vote for our 2020 Bessies.

Here’s who’s nominated:


Media Awards

Creator of the Year
Annette Richmond (From Annette With Love)
Carol Cain (Girl Gone Travel)
Oneika Raymond (Oneika the Traveller)

Collaboration of the Year
Curvy Kili Crew (WHOA Travel (Allison Fleece & Danielle Thornton) & Christa Singleton)
Fat Camp (Annette Richmond)
The First All Black Female Travel Influencer Experience in Barbados (Danny Rivers-Mitchell)

Ethical Travel Award
Abbie Synan (Speck on the Globe)
Alison Abbott (Green With Renvy)
Jessica Festa (Epicure and Culture)

Most Impactful Piece of Writing
1 Woman, 12 Months, 52 Places (Jada Yuan)
The color of adventure: When will travel show more diversity? (Lola Akinmade Åkerström)
The worst day of my life: finding 145 stranded whales in New Zealand (Liz Carlson)

Outstanding Work of 2018
(presented by Québec City Tourism)

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)

Industry Awards

Inclusion Award
2018 ABFF Awards Sponsorship by Hilton (Andrea Richardson)
Black History Month Rides with Lyft (Jessica Hansen)
LGBTQ Travel Safety initiative by AIG (Rhonda Sloan)

Influencer Campaign of the Year
Hostelling International Sleep for Peace
MNstagram Booths
Palau Pledge

Social Impact Award
Hara House (Jazzmine Raine)
Impact Travel Alliance (Kelley Louise)
Pathways to Safety International (Paula Lucas)

Travel Startup of the Year
Jack and Ferdi (Anne-Fleur Andrle)
Kind Traveler (Jessica Blotter)
Wanderstay Houston (Deidre Mathis)

Wanderful Award
The Globetrotter Lounge Podcast (Lisette Austin)
Unearth Women (Nikki Vargas, Elise Simmons, Kelly Lewis)
Womentum (Prabha Dublish, Derek Tu, Aaron Leon)

We can’t wait to see you all at this year’s Women in Travel Summit where we can get glammed up, celebrate our successes, and honor the work of these amazing people.

Read next: Learn more about the Bessie Awards and find out who won!