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″.

AWTE Ireland Talks Shop – 30 June

“Creating the life you want” Come and join AWTE Ireland for our first AWTE Development Session.  We’ve got a fabulous morning lined up for you. Amanda Wallace is a qualified business coach, trainer & keynote speaker dedicated to helping you become the best version of you. In this development session Amanda will help you to […]

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A successful vote for the future at the AWTE AGM 2017

The AWTE held our annual AGM on the 26th April and gave all members an overview of what we have been doing over the past 12 months. As well as the election of the new board of directors, we also had a resounding “yes” vote to change our bye-laws to new Articles of Association and […]

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Simply Summer Networking



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AWTE Benevolent 50th Anniversary lunch at the House of Lords

Please join us at the very prestigious  House of Lords Cholmondeley Room  and Terrace on the 22nd of June as we celebrate 50 years of

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AWTE sunset cocktails at the ITT conference 2017

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

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AWTE Talks Shop-Crisis Management

Join us at the stylish Covent Garden Hotel for a spot of breakfast and an informative panel session on Crisis Management.

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AWTE Digital Audio Travel Breakfast with Global

Queen of the Net, Mary Meeker said it is the next big thing.

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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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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