2022 Traverse Awards for Excellence in Kentucky Tourism

Each year, the Kentucky Travel Industry Association invites members to enter the Traverse Awards for Excellence in Kentucky Tourism competition, where travel and tourism professionals are honored and recognized for talent, creativity and effectiveness in marketing. The awards for 2022 have been closed. Winners will be announced at the 2022 Kentucky Travel Industry Annual Conference during the Golden Gala Dinner on Thursday, November 10.

For recipients, the awards represent a way for hard working individuals and teams to receive the recognition they deserve, and for the communities in which recipients are located, to better understand and appreciate the work of the travel and tourism industry and the professionals who comprise it.


  1. CATEGORY 1: Community Support & Engagement (NEW CATEGORY)
  2. CATEGORY 2: Digital
  3. CATEGORY 3: Experience Development (NEW CATEGORY) 
  4. CATEGORY 4: Marketing Campaign
  5. CATEGORY 5: Out-of-Home
  6. CATEGORY 6: PR Initiative
  7. CATEGORY 7: Print Advertising & Printed Collateral
  8. CATEGORY 8: Radio or TV Broadcast Advertising
  9. CATEGORY 9: Specialty Items
  10. CATEGORY 10: Video
  11. CATEGORY 11: Website 


a)    DMO with a total annual budget of less than $400,000
b)    DMO with a total annual budget between $400,000 – $750,000
c)    DMO with a total annual budget of over $750,000
d)    Festival, Event or Attraction
e)    Lodging or Restaurant

Judging Criteria

Three judges from outside the state judge each entry. Each judge scores individual entries based on the following criteria with a total of 100 points possible. Up to 25 points can be earned for each criterion. Judges evaluate each entry within a division independently of other entries and in their scoring, rely on the entry’s merit based on the criteria. 

  • CONCEPT: What is the underlying concept and what are the goals and objectives it is intended to achieve?
    • Submitters will need to explain the concept and goals of the project.
  • CREATIVITY: How contextually and visually creative and innovative was the project? What distinguishes the entry and makes it unique?
    • Submitters will need to describe the project in creative terms in regards to project design, development, implementation and as applicable, include elements of originality, innovation, graphic creativity.
  • RESULTS/IMPACT: Was the project successful? What was the impact of the project, particularly in relation to the goal(s)?
    • Submitters will need to describe as specifically as possible what the project achieved and include quantified results to the extent possible. If the project does not have quantifiable results, be sure to include what impact was derived.
  • OVERALL PROJECT IMPRESSION: Judge’s overall assessment of the project based on the combination of concept, creativity and results/impact.
    • Submitters should include any and all relevant information that might be important for the judges to consider.

Each submitter, will have up to 750 words to fully describe their project. In order to receive points within each of the criterion described above, you must include specific information within your description which addresses each. Failure to include information specific to each criterion will result in 0 points awarded for that specific criterion.

Award Levels 

Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards will be given to entries receiving the highest judge’s scores. Five (5) Awards of Distinction will be given to the top entry in each division to highlight the diverse segments of the industry and will ensure that the most deserving entry from each of the divisions will receive one of the highest award recognitions.

“Best in Show” rewards the most unforgettable and impressive entry while “Most Innovative” rewards the most unique entry.  

How Winners are Determined

Click below to learn more about how Traverse Award Recipients are selected once judging has occurred.