JourneyWoman and Wanderful Introduce the “JourneyWoman Award” at the Women in Travel Summit

by | Apr 14, 2021

Black and white of Evelyn Hannon
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Last updated on March 25th, 2024

Named in Honour of Evelyn Hannon, the Award Recognizes Lifetime Achievement of Women in the Travel Industry

To celebrate the achievements of Evelyn Hannon, the Founder of JourneyWoman, Beth Santos from Wanderful and Carolyn Ray from JourneyWoman have announced the “JourneyWoman Award.”  Previously called the “Lifetime Achievement” Award, the annual JourneyWoman Award will be presented at the Bessie Awards at the Women in Travel Summit on Friday, April 23, 2021 at 10 am ET. 

Evelyn dedicated her life not only to helping others find themselves through their travels, but to lifting and supporting other women,” said Beth Santos, CEO, Wanderful. “To me, this is what the lifetime achievement award is all about — a lifelong dedication to travel, yes, but also a higher purpose that is manifested through the travel industry. It’s why I’m so pleased to name our award the JourneyWoman Award, to honour the astounding women who have placed stepping stones on the path to a better travel industry, starting with one person who affected so many of us creators and entrepreneurs.”

Beth recalls: “Evelyn was our keynote speaker at the very first WITS back in 2014. I remember asking her to be our keynote and how nervous I was. In the small travel blogging community, she was an absolute celebrity. I would go to events and people would whisper over their shoulders, “That’s Evelyn!” You could always pick her out from a crowd with her big smile and characteristic red glasses. When I invited her to speak, she had just come off being on a parade float in Berlin. That’s the kind of celeb she was!”

Join us at our Spring Social on Thursday, April 22 to celebrate Evelyn! 

Evelyn’s legacy continues on

“The JourneyWoman Award celebrates Evelyn’s legacy and dedication to empowering other women through travel,” said Carolyn Ray, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, JourneyWoman. “Through it, we can acknowledge women who have broken barriers, challenged the status quo and followed their hearts. Women who have told us – you can do it – and show it through their own actions. I’m thrilled that Beth and I could join together to recognize Evelyn’s accomplishments and lasting impact on women’s travel.” 

Carolyn continued: “On behalf of Evelyn’s family and women around the world, I want to thank Beth and the Wanderful team for recognizing Evelyn’s contributions to women’s travel by naming this award after her. I can’t imagine anything more appropriate or meaningful, particularly to the generations of women she inspired to take the first step and travel solo.” 

Evelyn started JourneyWoman in 1994 and is regarded by women in the travel industry as one of the first solo female travel writers in the world. Recognized for her dedication and her role in empowering women to travel safely, she was particularly beloved by older women who saw her as a source of inspiration at a time when women didn’t travel alone and lacked female travel mentors.

Through, Evelyn revolutionized travel for women around the world, and was a catalyst for women to become the most important decision makers in travel. She inspired countless women to find the courage to take that first step as a solo traveler, saying “you can do it!” She was so far ahead of her time, and helped the industry understand that women had different needs and that safety was a primary concern.

When Evelyn passed away in April 2019 after a heroic three-year battle with cancer, her family turned JourneyWoman over to Carolyn Ray, who sees it as a platform to empower women, build community and support other female entrepreneurs.

Evelyn Hannon at the first Women in Travel Summit 2014

In 2000, TIME Magazine named Evelyn one as of the ‘100 innovative thinkers of this new century’ for the writing she did on behalf of women and travel. In 2009, she received the Griffin Award, which noted: “…through her writing, Evelyn Hannon has changed the way women around the world travel.”

The first JourneyWoman Award will be presented on April 23, 2021 by JourneyWoman Publisher Carolyn Ray

You can get a free ticket here which includes access to the Bessie Awards on April 23, live sessions and keynotes.

The three finalists include: 

  • Colleen Cannon, Founder of Women’s Quest, Fitness and Yoga adventure retreats designed to re-energize your body, refresh your spirit, and ignite your mind, created by women for women; 
  • Mrs. Neelam Khanna, Founder of India’s premier luxury destination spa, Ananda in the Himalayas, she is a pre-eminent name in the field of art, design and wellness, with an illustrious career spanning over 40 years; and
  • Alessandra Alonso, founder of Women in Travel CIC, a social enterprise dedicated to empowering women through employability and entrepreneurship in travel, tourism and hospitality.

In future years, JourneyWoman readers will participate in the selection of the finalists and the winner.

Watch here for the winner and video of the award presentation!

About the Women in Travel Summit

The Bessie Awards are part of Wanderful’s Women in Travel Summit (WITS), which is now in its 7th year. 

To join WITS ONLINE 2021: The week-long Women in Travel Summit for content creators on April 21-24.
You can get a free ticket 
here which includes access to the Bessie Awards on April 23, live sessions and keynotes.

For those who want to join workshops there is also a paid option for $29. Use discount code JW15 for 15% off all tickets.

Evelyn at the First Women in Travel Summit in 2014

Women in Travel Summit
Evelyn Hannon at the first Women in Travel Summit 2014
Women in Travel Summit
Carolyn Ray and Erica Ehm, with Evelyn Hannon

JourneyWoman Evelyn Hannon’s Iconic Red Boots Accepted Into Canada’s Bata Shoe Museum Collection

In August 2020, the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto accepted the iconic red boots of Evelyn Hannon, the Original JourneyWoman, into its permanent collection. As one of the world’s most renowned museums, the Bata Shoe Museum holds over 14,000 shoes and shoe-related artifacts in its collection. Read more here.

Read our tribute to Evelyn from 2019, “A Tribute to the Original JourneyWoman, Evelyn Hannon.”

In 2009, Marilyn Bicher nominated Evelyn Hannon for The 2009 Griffin Award, an award given out by  the Surrey International Writers’ Conference Board  that recognizes contributions to Canadian society through the craft of writing in the category of writing that furthers the consciousness of women.

Founded in 1994, the Travel Media Association of Canada represents Canada’s most professional and productive experts in the field of travel. Current JourneyWoman publisher Carolyn Ray is also a member. 

Evelyn’s pass for the Santa Claus Parade in Toronto in 2014. 

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