Last updated on May 15th, 2022
Announcing our three finalists
In October, we received a flurry of nominations for the 2022 JourneyWoman Award for Lifetime Achievement, which recognizes a woman who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to working in and making the travel industry better.
This award, which was announced in April 2021 in partnership with Wanderful as part of its Bessie Awards, is in recognition of Evelyn Hannon, Founder of JourneyWoman, and her achievements in inspiring women to embrace solo travel. Evelyn started JourneyWoman in 1994 and revolutionized travel for women around the world, helping the industry understand that women had different needs and safety was a primary concern.
“The JourneyWoman Award celebrates Evelyn’s legacy and dedication to empowering other women through travel,” says Carolyn Ray, CEO and Publisher, JourneyWoman. “Through it, we can acknowledge women who have broken barriers, challenged the status quo, and followed their hearts. Women you have told us – you can do it – and shown us through their own actions.”
“We are absolutely thrilled to recognize such an extraordinary group of creators and brands this year for our fourth-annual Bessies,” said Beth Santos, Founder and CEO of Wanderful. “We hope that by showcasing their work we can inspire more builders in the space to contribute their voices to make our travel industry even more thoughtful, inclusive, and meaningful.”
On April 23, 2021, Alessandra Alonso became the inaugural recipient of the JourneyWoman Award, which is Alessandra is the founder of Women in Travel CIC, a social enterprise that seeks to empower women using travel and tourism as a force for good. Read more about this trailblazer and JourneyWoman Award for Lifetime Achievement winner here.
Congratulations to our 2022 JourneyWoman Award Finalists
Wally Funk, Trailblazing Female Pilot
Wally Funk is an aviator, space tourist, and Goodwill Ambassador. She was the first female air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, the first female civilian flight instructor at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and the first female Federal Aviation Agency inspector, as well as one of the Mercury 13.
Funk became the oldest woman to go to space on July 20, 2021 at age 82, flying on Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft during its suborbital flight. She has traveled globally and is one of the most adventurous people you will ever meet.
Learn more about Wally here: https://www.dw.com/en/blue-origin-82-year-old-woman-to-travel-to-space-with-jeff-bezos/a-58128106 or in this New York Times article.
Diane Edwards, Owner, Seascape Sailing
Diane Edwards is also known by those who sail in her Aegean realm as “The Goddess Diana,” or “Mother Hen”! After completing a degree in Psychology at Sussex University (UK), she spent her early years vacillating between boat-bumming and the software industry. An increasing gathering of potential sailors wanting to join her trips to Greece inspired her to take the plunge and buy her first boat “Vassilis” – and so SeaScape was born!
Her long-held belief in a down-to-earth, “no-glossy-brochure-speak” approach came into its own even more with the advent of the Internet and mobile communications. Diane’s itchy-feet syndrome still hasn’t abated, and she still heads up exploratory trips for the community of past SeaScapers, ready for new adventures and new friends!
What her nominee said: “Diane invented a kind of sailing trip that basically did not exist until the mid-90s that has facilitated easy and wonderful travel for single women and women friends. Diane is the owner and designer of her company and also captain of her sailing yacht. I am a captain and worked for Diane for 4 of the first years, we are still friends after over 25 years, I have watched her success and also trials and tribulations of running a difficult business and making it look like it is easy! Diane has provided trips for all these years for 1000s at least 50% women, and kept the quality good, still captaining now. We are in our waning years of running sailing trips (which are taxing) and I see hardly any women (much less men) following in our footsteps, sadly. Diane is one of a kind who pioneered this kind of travel here in Greece, sometimes against difficult odds; working in foreign countries poses many difficulties and many hurdles. I see the constant good comments on her FB page, and I know firsthand how many women have benefitted if not actually had a life-changing experience by sailing with Diane. Women like Diane have pioneered this kind of travel for women and she should be recognized.”
Learn more about Diane here.
Anna Pollock, Founder, Conscious Travel
Anna Pollock is the founder of Conscious Travel, an alternative model to mass industrial tourism that develops conscious hosts capable of generating a higher net return for their business and host community. Long before the idea of “regenerative tourism” became trendy, Anna was working with destinations and talking about the importance of recognizing tourism within the framework of a living, breathing ecosystem, and not something separate from the world in which we live, travel, and work.
Her passion is helping clients understand and harness the change forces at work to build profitable, sustainable enterprises.
What her nominee said: “Anna has been a visionary and role model within the tourism industry by leading the conversation around regenerative practices for decades. Long before the idea of “regenerative tourism” because trendy, Anna was working with destinations and talking about the importance of recognizing tourism within the framework of a living, breathing ecosystem, and not something separate from the world in which we live, travel, and work.”
Learn more about Anna here.
The JourneyWoman Award will be given out by JourneyWoman CEO Carolyn Ray at the annual Women in Travel Summit as part of the Bessie Awards, created by Wanderful in May 2022 in St. Louis, Missouri. The final winner will be selected through a popular vote from past WITS attendees and former Bessie Award winners and will be announced on 7-10 pm CT on Saturday, 14 May 2022 at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown in Kansas City, Missouri.
Special code for JourneyWoman readers for 15% off discount code: JW15