Traverse Awards for Excellence in Tourism Marketing

The Kentucky Travel Industry Association invites all members to enter the Traverse Awards competition, where travel professionals are honored for talent, creativity and effectiveness in marketing. Winners are honored in October during the Kentucky Travel Industry Annual Conference Traverse Awards Gala.

A panel of industry experts will judge all entries. This unbiased and impartial group is composed of marketing, public relations, and tourism professionals whose work is conducted outside of Kentucky. 

Gold, Silver, and Bronze prizes may be awarded for each category. “Best in Show” rewards the most unforgettable and impressive entry and “Most Innovative” rewards the most unique entry. Each judge will also select a “Judge’s Choice” award.

Deadline and Considerations

The deadline to submit entries is Friday, August 4, 2017. Entries provided between Saturday, August 5 - Friday, August 11 will accrue a late fee. Note that all entries must be submitted by Friday, August 11 by 5:00 p.m. EST to be considered.

All entries must have been published or distributed for the first time between August 1, 2016 and July 31, 2017.


  • Single Entry: $60
  • Campaign: $75
  • Late Fee (August 5 - 11, 2017): Additional $25 
Entry fees are payable by check, VISA, Mastercard, Discover or American Express. Make checks payable to the Kentucky Travel Industry Association.

Judging Criteria

Each judge scores individual entries based on the following criteria with a total of 100 points possible. Up to 20 points can be earned for each criterion. All scores are tallied and averaged, then Gold, Silver, and Bronze prizes are awarded based upon average scores.  

Each entry is judged on:

Description, concept and goal(s): Fully describe the project. Include its underlying concept and the goal(s) it was intended to achieve. Goals may be in quantifiable terms, obstacles the project was intended to overcome, audiences for which it was intended, and/or any other outcomes the project was intended to achieve. 

Planning and execution: Describe the project’s planning process and the execution of the project.  Include elements such as collaboration or partnerships, challenges and solutions, and any other factors that speak to the effectiveness of project planning and execution.   

Creativity: Describe the project in creative terms. As applicable, include elements of originality or differentiation from the norm, graphic creativity and any other information that speaks to the project’s creativity. 

Results/Impact: Describe as specifically as possible what the project achieved, particularly in relation to the goals(s). Include quantified results to the extent possible and return on investment results as applicable.

Overall Project Impression: Describe any other information that when combined with the information above will provide the judges with a basis for forming an overall impression of the project’s quality and effectiveness.


Each submitter must complete a Summary of Entries form to record all entries that have been submitted by the organization. An Official Entry Form must also be completed for each individual submission.

Summary of Entries
Official Entry Form

Submission Instructions

There is no limit to the number of entries. Entries may be submitted by industry organizations, advertising agencies, or by other communication firms. However, entries must be submitted in the name of the KTIA member for whom the work was produced. Please see FAQ for further explanation of submissions.
  • All entries MUST be submitted electronically. Create a folder using either Dropbox, Google Drive, or another file sharing site that is complete with the electronic Official Entry Form for each entry and one Summary of Entries Form and email it to
  • Please use your OFFICIAL ORGANIZATION'S NAME for all entry material
  • Create separate folders for each entry that includes: Entry Form, High Resolution Image(s) of Entry: Your folders should follow this example: KTIA > Division A > Category 1; Category 2; and so on (See FAQ)
  • TV spots and videos should be delivered in the highest possible format. Radio spots should be delivered as an aiff, wave, mp3 file type.
  • You will find a downloadable entry form under each category. Please download the form that correlates to your Division. Complete the Entry Form and save it in the folder with your entry image.
  • Label photo file with entry name; i.e. campaign name, brochure, rack card, etc.
  • Download and complete the Summary of Entries form that includes ALL Traverse Awards entries and save it in your Divisions folder.
Please contact Linda Young at 502.223.8687 with any questions regarding divisions, categories, or submissions. 

Divisions and Categories


      A. DMO with a total annual budget of $200,000 or less
      B. DMO with a total annual budget between $200,001-$499,999
      C. DMO with a total annual budget of $500,000 and above
      D. Attraction
       E. Festival or Event
      F.  Lodging
      G. Restaurant



1. Annual Report


2. Broadcast Media 

2A - Radio Advertisement - Commercial or public service announcement; not to exceed two minutes
2B - Television Advertisement - Commercial or public service announcement

3. Digital 

3A - Advertising - Such as pop-up ads, banners, rich media content, Facebook, etc.
3B - Promotional - Mobile app, driving tour, etc.

4. Direct Promotion - Mail, e-blast, or free-standing inserts 

4A - Single Item
4B - Campaign

5. Event/Meeting/Conference Materials - Includes materials used during or prior to an event/meeting/conference


6. Group Travel Guide or Meeting Planner - Presentation targeted to the leisure group travel or meeting/convention market


7. Marketing Campaign - Promotional campaign such as print advertising, direct mail, specialty items, audiovisuals, mobile marketing, etc.


8. Out-of-Home Advertising - Billboards, bus shelters, truck backs, etc.


9. PR Campaign - Includes newsletter associated with campaign, earned media, events, etc.


10. Print Advertising - Newspaper or magazine, single ad or series of ads designed around one theme

10A - Single Item
10B - Campaign

11. Promotional Video - Video or podcast produced and distributed as a marketing tool to attract individual travel, group travel, or business meetings 


12. Rack Brochure - Includes standard folded pieces; may be saddle-stitched, no more than eight pages, including cover


13. Social Media Campaign - May be single or multiple platform campaign 


14. Specialty Item - Includes posters, maps, pins, buttons, hats, gift items, etc.

14A - For sale
14B - Not for sale

15. Visitors Guide/Other Booklet - Includes saddle stitched booklets of eight or more pages, including cover


16. Website - Includes both new and mobile sites


Q: What should my folders look like?


Q:  Besides the Summary of Events and Official Entry Form sheets, do I need to submit the actual item, a picture or the mock-up that goes with my entry?

A:  Just include a PICTURE of your item in a Dropbox and send.  It can even be one that you take yourself. This will be the image that is shown if you win an award!

Q:  What if I need the judges to be able to feel the paper quality/texture, the fabric quality or the embossed printing of my entry?  Should I send that item instead of a picture?

A:  No, we still just need a picture, but do be sure to include all those special details about the item on your Official Entry Form. This will be the image that is shown if you win an award!

Q:  I’m including several copies of the same picture, but they were used in different ways (bookmark, poster, car wrap, magnet, coaster, on social media, etc).  Do they all need to be labeled individually?

A:  Yes, please!  We need to see just how many various ways you reached your audience.   

Q:  What exactly do I include in the Objective and Impact section of the Official Entry Form?

A:  Download an example of a judge favorite Objective and Impact!

Q: How do I submit a Social Media Campaign with multiple posts and/or platforms?

A: Screen capture all posts that are involved from the campaign. Include the date posted, the number of views, and the response rate. Please label the platform for each post and include all platforms the campaign expands

Checklist for Entry Submission

  1. Official Entry Form for each entry
  2. Summary of Entries form
  3. High-res digital image of each entry
  4. All necessary materials that correspond to your entry to be judged 
  5. Payment