Beacon Awards

The April 28 Beacon Awards Celebration has been cancelled until further notice due to COVID-19.

Travel & Tourism Beacon AwardsIt is with regret that this year’s Beacon Awards have been cancelled due to the Coronavirus. We did not come to this decision easily. . .we have been waiting for signs that the worst of the crisis would be behind us. Unfortunately, it is not, nor do we have a date when things are ‘business as usual’ again.

As you may know, many of our friends and coworkers have been furloughed, which we hope is temporary, but we just don’t know. US Travel predicts that our industry will suffer the greatest loss across all sectors – in terms of business closures, a decrease in the employees that remain and the impact all of this has on the economy.  Waiting until such time we have cause for celebration (of course, staying healthy is the greatest reason for celebration right now) makes the most sense.

We will reach out to all partners in the industry once we know what our future holds.  Until then, stay healthy.  Brighter days are surely ahead for us all!


The National Travel & Tourism Beacon Awards recognize excellence in hospitality and tourism in Erie County, New York. They’re an opportunity to highlight the best and brightest in a variety of areas – from back of the house to front of the house; culinary excellence to festivals, conventions and sporting events – all of which contribute to economic growth in our destination.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Beacon Awards and we plan to celebrate in a big way on April 28 at Kleinhans Music Hall. In addition to honoring eleven individuals with the prestigious Beacon Award, Visit Buffalo Niagara will induct Jo Ann Falletta into the Buffalo Ambassador Hall of Fame, presenting her with the Tim Russert Award.

Since 2010, Visit Buffalo Niagara has received nearly 500 nominations and over 50 awards have been given.  The honorees are an excellent representation of the diversity, creativity and innovation found here in Western New York.  All hospitality categories are represented including: hoteliers, restaurants, nightclubs, bars and breweries, cultural organizations, attractions, sporting events, our Bring it Home Ambassadors and volunteers.

Winners will be announced April 3.  Watch this space for the complete list of nominees!

Individual tickets to the luncheon are $40 if purchased before April 10 and table sponsorships are also available.

Register for the luncheon here

The Western New York Chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association will be awarding scholarships to local graduating high school seniors pursuing a career in travel or tourism. 

Here are photos of past winners. . .