AWTE Member

Our History

The Association of Women Travel Executives began life as The Women’s Travel Club, and was founded in 1954 by Joan Richardson.

Joan wanted to belong to a sector-specific club but the existing ones were for men only. She was the first woman travel manager to be appointed in the marine engineering organisation for which she was working, and wanted a way of supporting her career and boosting women’s status in the travel industry.

Joan teamed up with another two ambitious female travel executives, Kay Holloway and Dilys Morgan McCrindle, and the first meeting of The Women’s Travel Club was held on 14 September 1954.

Below is a potted history of The Women’s Travel Club and its evolution to The Association of Women Travel Executives as it is known today.

  • 1954 – the first meeting of The Women’s Travel Club is held at the offices of James Burness in Piccadilly, London and increases its membership to 27 within the first month. The first Christmas Lunch took place on 14 Dec with 40 women and 35 men attending. This event has since established itself as the must-attend event of the travel industry to kick off the festive season.
  • 1959 – Janet Spence founds the Scottish branch of The Women’s Travel Club
  • 1967 – the London branch forms a Benevolent Fund in memory of Gillyan Shebbeare, to raise money to help travel women in difficulties. A chair, secretary, treasurer and three trustees are appointed to administer the fund
  • 1970 – The Women’s Travel Club of Great Britain becomes a charter member at the First Convention of the International Federation of Women Travel Clubs (IFWTO) in San Francisco
  • 1971 – Joan Richardson is elected president of all the British branches of The Women’s Travel Club
  • 1987 – the London Club changes its name to the Association of Women Travel Executives – London (AWTE)
  • 1995 – AWTE holds its first cocktail party on the evening of the first day of the World Travel Market (WTM), becoming a regular annual event and providing a unique opportunity to network, whilst hosting overseas and IFWTO Members attending WTM
  • 1997 – the AWTE first attends the Business Bazaar at the ABTA convention, to raise its profile nationally and internationally
  • 1998 – AWTE signs an agreement with Travel Industry Services to offer travel benefits to all members of the association
  • 1999 – AWTE launches its new logo and letterhead, cementing its status in the travel sector
  • 2000 – AWTE stages a successful ‘say no to child sex tourism’ campaign
  • 2001 – AWTE launches its first website, revolutionary, as it was the first Association of tis kind to have such an online presence in the UK.
  • 2012 – AWTE unveils its new logo and website, bringing it into the 21st century and reinforcing its position as the association that helps develop the careers of women in travel.
  • 2014 – AWTE celebrates it’s 60th anniversary. To mark this special occasion we asked the industry to nominate women over the past six decades who have made a difference and stood out as influencers in travel and tourism – we were proud to honour our “60 for 60″.

Nominations for AWTE Chair’s Awards now open!

We are delighted to announce that nominations for this year’s Chair’s Awards are now OPEN! In 2008, the AWTE was left a legacy from Founder Member, Joan Richardson. We use this legacy to present 3 Annual Awards that recognise the achievements of women in travel. Please take time to nominate yourself, a deserving colleague or […]

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AWTE delighted to be a strategic partner of 2017 Everywoman in Travel Awards

AWTE is delighted to announce that it’s partnering with Everywoman for their 2017 Everywoman in Travel Awards.  Established in 1999, everywoman is the expert in the advancement of women in business With a presence in over 100 countries and a successful active network of over 20,000 members, everywoman is recognised globally as the professional organisation […]

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AWTE Chairs Awards 2017

We are delighted to bring you our Annual Chair's Awards that will take place at Rocket City in The City on Tuesday 12th of September. The

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Simply Summer Networking

AWTE sunset cocktails at the ITT conference 2017

12th June - S.Antonio Terrace, Hilton Sorrento Palace at 6.30pm

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Chairs farewell dinner 2017

On 9th May we will be hosting a dinner at Smith & Wollensky in John Adam Street, London, WC2N in honour of our outgoing Chair –

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AWTE Annual General Meeting 2017

The AWTE AGM takes place on Wednesday 26th of April 2017 at

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Dinner evening launch in Dublin

The AWTE are delighted to launch a brand new chapter in Ireland after fantastic, enthusiastic engagement from the Travel Tourism and Hospitality

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Membership on line renewal 2017 - MEMBERS ONLY

Now that you have received your renewal invoice from us, many have asked to pay this on line via credit card. Therefore you can use this mechanism to

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Registered Address


East House

109 South Worple Way


SW14 8TN

Registered In England & Wales

Registration number 05590750

AWTE By laws

Benevolent Fund By laws

© 2016 The Association of Women Travel Excecutives