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We did it! Visit Gdansk wins the prestigious Bessie Award

The #CityWillWait project won the Bessie Award in the Collaboration of the Year category. The official gala held by the organiser of the contest, Wanderful, took place on 23 April 2021. That is when it was announced that female travellers from across the globe acknowledged the efforts of the Gdansk Tourism Organization towards combating the negative impact of the pandemic on tourism.



In the Collaboration of the Year category, Visit Gdansk competed against projects by Tourism New Zealand and Visit Estonia, but it was the Gdansk project that ultimately won the admiration of travellers. It is worth adding that there are a total of 9 categories in the contest (more information: https://witsummit.com/bessieawards)


“I am very happy that our efforts to combat the pandemic have been acknowledged. And not only ours. It is no coincidence that we won in that particular category. We have been able to establish and maintain an exemplary partnership between 13 cities. We would like to thank our project partners, as well as the female travellers for choosing #CityWillWait,” says Lukasz Wysocki, President of the Management Board of GTO.


About the initiative

The #CityWillWait initiative was launched in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. The project was started by the Gdansk Tourism Organization with the hashtag #GdanskWillWait. Its first partners were 3 affiliated metropolitan tourism organisations from Poznan, Lodz and Warsaw.

The goal of the initiative was to maintain interest in travel among tourists during the first lockdown period in 2020, and also to support local tourism.

The widespread media coverage of the initiative resulted in other cities across Poland quickly becoming interested in joining us – a total of 13 cities took up the slogan and began supporting each other during these trying times (Gdansk, Warsaw, Poznan, Lodz, Lublin, Torun, Olsztyn, Kielce, Sopot, Opole, Krakow, Szczecin and Gdynia). The initiative itself became country-wide, with Gdansk being the project coordinator.

Synergy and unity between large cities were achieved, centred around a single goal. This was particularly important in the face of a common threat we all had to deal with. The effective partnership, the exemplary sharing experience and the will to work together are proof that even serious threats can be overcome together. It is worth adding that all the cities made use of a cohesive visual identity.


About the award

Bessie Awards are handed out by Wanderful, their goal being to honour prominent female travellers, influencers, as well as organisations and their initiatives which have made significant contributions to the development of tourism in a given year. The award takes its name from Bessie Coleman, the first African-American woman to be granted a pilot's licence.