During the Women in Travel Creator summit (WITS) Mapp remembers the remarkable outpouring of celebration as the collective of travelers and travel content creators rooted her up to the stage to receive the first-ever win for her and her organization national not-for-profit Outdoor Afro. “When I heard my name, my team and I were completely elated and squealing with gratitude,” said Mapp. “My fellow nominees are so extraordinary. It was an honor to simply be in their company.” By accepting the JourneyWoman award Rue Mapp joined filmmaker/explorer Céline Cousteau and sustainable luxury expert Juliet Kinsman in the JourneyWoman (formally lifetime achievement) category. The category celebrates women for the fifth consecutive year who have demonstrated a long-term commitment to working in and making the travel industry better.
Among the list of influencers, creative entrepreneurs, marketers, and other representatives who accepted awards that evening were Switzerland Tourism x The Wanderlust Within (Collaborator of the Year), Olivia Christine Perez (Creator of the Year), International Black Women Travel Jubilee (Social Impact Award), Jessica Serna of My Curly Adventures (Trailblazer Award), Fora (Travel Startup of the Year), “Why You Shouldn’t Cancel Your Upcoming Trip to Puerto Rico” by Jen Ruiz (Most Impactful Piece of Writing), wmnsWORK (Wanderful Award) and Together Outdoors, Grant Program (Inclusion Award).
“While I’m grateful for this prestigious recognition, I’m hopeful that this win will inspire other women to embrace the unprecedented opportunities we have today,” Mapp said. “These opportunities make it possible for more women of all ages and backgrounds to embrace a fulfilling and impactful career in the outdoor, travel, and tourism industries.”
The Bessie Awards are named after Bessie Coleman, the first woman of African American and Native American descent to hold a pilot’s license.