10th annual Beacon Awards – Call for Nominations

The National Travel & Tourism Beacon Awards recognize excellence in hospitality and tourism. 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 conferences to amateur athletic events. . .each area contributes to a better quality of life for residents and economic growth in Erie County.

Since 2010, Visit Buffalo Niagara has received over 500 nominations! The nominees represent the diversity, creativity and innovation offered in hospitality and tourism in a variety of areas. This year marks the tenth anniversary – and we plan to celebrate in a big way on April 28 at Kleinhan’s Music Hall. In addition to honoring 11 individuals with the Beacon Award, JoAnn Falletta Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, will receive the Tim Russert Award, as she joins Robby Takac, Russell Salvatore and Anthony Conti in the Buffalo Ambassador Hall of Fame.

Nominations are due March 27, 2020Winners will be notified by April 10 and all nominees and award recipients will be recognized at the Beacon Awards cocktail reception on April 28.


Only those organizations and individuals who work in Erie County are eligible to receive a Beacon Award. A selection committee comprised of hospitality and tourism college professors review the submissions and select the winners. The diverse range of awards give different segments of the industry an opportunity to be recognized for hard work, professionalism, creativity – all those attributes that made Buffalo Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel in 2020 (Oct. 2019). We look forward to bringing the entire industry together for this wonderful event.

Nomination tips: A well-written nomination greatly enhances the chance of the nominee being selected as the judges look for specific information and examples to support why the nominee meets the criteria to receive a Beacon Award. Additional back up material may include documents which support the nomination, including testimonials, guest comments, photos, newspaper clippings and previous awards that were given during 2019. The online form asks a few probing questions to assist you.