MTJA conducts three annual membership awards programs — the Mark Twain Awards, the Spotlight Awards and the GEMmy Awards.

Presented annually, the Mark Twain Awards program recognizes excellence in travel writing and photography in a number of categories including newspaper and magazine articles, culinary, Midwestern destinations, short copy, photojournalism and digital content. Each year, one MTJA Active member is selected receive the prestigious Mark Twain Writer of the Year Award. The Mark Twain Awards are sponsored by Visit Kansas City, The Beenders-Walker Group and the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The Spotlight Award recognizes outstanding efforts by MTJA Associate members to focus attention on travel clients’ businesses, sites, events, services, openings or facilities. The awards recognize projects completed within the previous 18 months.

GEMmy Awards are presented to exceptional “hidden gem” attractions, sites, events, accommodations, restaurants, drives, walks, tours or excursions as nominated by MTJA members. Winners receive recognition through an awarded certificate and promotion via MTJA membership avenues.

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