Lebawit Lily Girma

Lily Girma headshot

Lily Girma


As a senior journalist, Lebawit Lily Girma’s 15-year career trajectory points to her consistent efforts in elevating sustainable tourism coverage in major consumer and trade media publications. She has earned recognition for it—most recently, a Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award from the SATW Foundation for her story on how tourism must shift to address climate change in Bloomberg News. Lily sees travel journalism as an evolving discipline that can expand to better highlight the key challenges facing the industry, such as sustainable tourism destination management, the climate crisis, and diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as the solutions.

Lebawit Lily Girma is an award-winning Ethiopian American travel journalist and author with 15 years of experience in sustainable tourism reporting for major publications. During that time, her writing has appeared in numerous digital and print travel publications, including BBC, Condé Nast Traveler, CNN, Skift, Travel + Leisure, AFAR, Sierra, and Moon Guide.

Lily is currently a full-time travel reporter for Bloomberg Pursuits, the lifestyle arm of Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Businessweek. She brings a consumer and business lens to her stories, many of which touch on sustainable tourism, diversity and equity, in addition to reporting on major tourism trends and developments.

Previously, Lily held roles as editor-at-large and global tourism reporter at Skift, joining the B2B travel news publication at the height of the COVID pandemic. Her work included reporting and writing impactful stories on global tourism’s attempts to “build back better,” tackling topics such as vaccine equity, tourism success metrics, and DEI in destination marketing. She has also moderated panels with executives on global tourism and presented on sustainable travel at major industry events, including WTM Africa, ITB Berlin, and Bloomberg CityLab.

As a roving freelance travel writer once based in the Caribbean, Lily has also worked directly with tourism boards, travel associations, and major hospitality brands, providing web and editorial content with a focus on cultural tourism, as well as strategy on sustainable tourism storytelling. In 2023, Lily founded Tourism Lens, a platform focused on conscious travel.

Lily’s multicultural background, coupled with her years of experience studying and living in multiple regions around the world underpins her passion for equity and sustainability in tourism.

She is the recipient of Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Awards and North American Travel Journalist Awards, in the sustainable travel and DEI categories. In 2021, she earned a Professional Certificate in Sustainable Tourism from the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. Lily holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia Law, and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and French from the University of Maryland at College Park.

Some of Lily’s recent sustainable tourism focused work: