Congratulations 2019 Traverse Awards Winners!

Thank you to all who participating the in the 2019 KTIA Traverse Awards. For a listing of all of the 2019 Traverse Winners, follow this link.
 KTIA members can logon to find press release tools on their member landing page.

Traverse Awards for Excellence in Kentucky Tourism Marketing

The Kentucky Travel Industry Association invites members to enter the Traverse Awards competition, where travel professionals are honored and recognized for talent, creativity and effectiveness in marketing. Winners will be announced at the 2019 Kentucky Travel Industry Annual Conference in Covington this November.

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. 


The deadline to submit entries is Wednesday, August 14, 2019. Entries submitted between Thursday, August 15 – Wednesday, August 21 will receive a late fee. All entries must be submitted by Wednesday, August 21 by 5:00 p.m. EST to be eligible. 


All entries must have been published or distributed for the first time between August 1, 2018 and July 31, 2019.


  • Single Entry: $60
  • Campaign: $75
  • Late Fee (August 15-21): Additional $25 per entry

Entry fees are payable by check, VISA, Mastercard, Discover or American Experiences. Checks to be made 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 25 points can be earned for each criterion. Entries are judged on individual merit in relation to the criteria and are not compared to other entries within a category or division.

  • 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 with (5) Awards of Distinction will be given to the top entry in each division. These awards, which will replace the three Judge’s Choice awards, will serve 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.

Lean More

Submission Instructions 

There is no limit to the number of entries a member can submit. Entries may be submitted by advertising agencies or by other communication firms but must be submitted in the name of the KTIA member organization for whom the work was produced. Click link below for detailed entry submission instructions, forms, divisions, categories and FAQ.

2019 Submission Instructions

Winner Announcements

In an effort to enhance the celebration of the tremendous work of our members, Traverse Award winners will now be announced throughout the day on Thursday, November 7.  Bronze Award winners will be announced during the Opening Breakfast, Silver Award winners will be announced during the Commissioner & Awards Luncheon and Gold, Awards of Distinction, Most Innovative and Best in Show winners will be announced during the Gala Dinner. 

Publicity Opportunities for Winners

To heighten the awareness and prestige of the awards, KTIA media partners have committed to the following: 

  • WLEX18 - Lexington's NBC affiliate will arrange for the Best of Show winner to make an appearance on Matt Jones' Hey Kentucky! television show.
  • Kentucky Monthly Magazine - Website will list the recipients of Best of Show, Most Innovative, Awards of Distinction and Gold Awards.
  • The Lane Report -Best of Show, Most Innovative, Awards of Distinction group photo will be included in the December 2019 print issue and will list all Traverse Award recipients in an online Fast Lane edition.
  • Kentucky Living Magazine - January 2020 print issue will include editorial mention and photo of Best of Show, Most Innovative, and Awards of Distinction recipients. Website will include additional photos and listing of the same recipients, plus Gold, Silver and Bronze recipients.

Other media partners are invited to offer additional publicity opportunities for Traverse recipients.

KTIA will continue distributing a Traverse statewide press release, and provide recipients access to local draft releases and recipient photos.


Contact Sarah Brock at 502.223.8687 with any questions.