Skift Take

Skift IDEA Awards is the travel industry’s annual recognition of excellence in design, creativity, and innovation. Here’s the shortlist of this year’s finalists. 

Each year, Skift IDEA Awards celebrates the brands and businesses designing new and better ways to travel. The projects entered this year pushed boundaries in design, creativity, and innovation, showing with no uncertainty that the next era of travel is smarter, better, and more purpose-driven than ever before. Below is the shortlist of finalists across this year’s categories. 

We’d like to thank this year’s panel of judges, composed of renowned design, technology, and business leaders from around the world, who are in the midst of determining the final results.  

  • Aaron Walton – CEO & Founder, Walton Isaacson
  • Amy Burr – President, JetBlue Technology Ventures
  • Casper Overbeek – Chief Digital & Customer Experience Officer, citizenM
  • Colin Nagy – Columnist, Skift
  • James Thornton – CEO, Intrepid
  • Lola Akerstrom – Founder, Local Purse
  • Mia Kyricos – President & Chief Love Officer, Kyricos & Associates

To make these calls, our panel is scoring through the criteria of of design, creativity, innovation, and impact, with these questions in mind:      

  • Design: Does it serve a purpose and solve a problem? 
  • Creativity: Does it stand out or challenge the status quo? 
  • Innovation: Does it show where the future of travel is (or should be) heading? 
  • Impact: Does it have a meaningful impact for travelers, business, or society?

Later this year, select winners and judges will be featured at Skift’s Design The Future event on December 9. Register for free here

Skift IDEA Awards – 2021 Shortlist  


Aviation: Projects that improve the airline passenger experience, in the air or at the airport


Business Travel & Work: Projects that improve the business travel experience or the way we work 


Brand Creativity: Creativity in marketing, advertising, media, or brand experiences


Destinations: Projects that improve how travelers experience a destination, including mobility, way-finding, and transportation


Loyalty: Products, services, or strategies that earn customer loyalty


Meetings & Events: Excellence in events, including planning, design, and innovative technology


Pandemic Response: Design or strategic solutions to enable safe travel or mitigate the economic effects of the covid-19 pandemic


Social Impact: Projects that create a positive impact for or promote an important cause


Spaces & Places: Innovation in built environments, including architecture, interiors, and public spaces


Sustainability: Projects designed to reduce environmental impact or help customers travel responsibly 


Tech & Innovation: Smart products or technology-driven projects that solve challenges in new and meaningful ways

Wellness: Products, services, and spaces created to inspire health and wellbeing


User Experience: Projects that consider a traveler’s journey across digital or physical touch points, including apps, environments, and hybrid experiences


Visual Communication: Visual and graphic design, branding and identity projects for print, digital or physical environments

Stay tuned for the final results later this month and join select winners and judges at Skift’s Design The Future event on December 9. Register for free here

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Tags: design, hospitality, innovation, skift idea awards, skift live, tourism

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