Traverse Awards for Excellence in Kentucky Tourism Marketing

The Kentucky Travel Industry Association invites members to enter the Traverse Awards for Excellence in Kentucky Tourism Marketing competition, where travel and tourism professionals are honored and recognized for talent, creativity and effectiveness in marketing. This year’s awards will also celebrate members extraordinary efforts displayed during the COVID-19 pandemic. New categories have been added to offer opportunities for all member segments to showcase their invaluable roles while deploying creative tactics to assist their communities.

For recipients, this year’s awards take on added meaning as they represent a way for hard working and dedicated 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. 

Winners will be announced at the 2021 Kentucky Travel Industry Annual Conference during the Golden Gala Dinner on Thursday, November 11.

Eligibility Requirements

Only KTIA members (or member representatives) are eligible to participate in the Traverse Awards. All entries must have been published or distributed for the first time between March 1, 2019 and July 31, 2021.


The deadline to submit entries is Wednesday, August 18, 2021. Entries submitted between Thursday, August 19 – Wednesday, August 25 will receive a late fee. All entries must be submitted by Wednesday, August 25 by 5:00 p.m. EST to be eligible.

All submissions must be emailed to Sarah Brock. You will receive confirmation that your submissions have been received.


  • Single Entry: $60
  • Late Fee (August 19-25): Additional $25 per entry

Entry fees are payable by check, VISA, Mastercard, Discover or American Express. 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. 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.


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.


Winner Announcements

Traverse Award winners will now be announced throughout the day on Thursday, November 11 with Bronze award winners being announced during the Opening Breakfast, Silver Award winners during the Commissioner & Awards Luncheon and Gold, Awards of Distinction, Most Innovative and Best in Show during the Gala Dinner.


Contact Sarah Brock at [email protected] or call 502.223.8687 with any questions.