Lebawit Lily Girma is Skift’s Global Tourism Reporter. Prior to joining Skift, she built a distinguished career as an award-winning Ethiopian-American travel journalist and photographer focused primarily on sustainable travel in the Caribbean region. 

A former corporate attorney who ditched her Washington DC office for the road in 2008 to follow her passion for storytelling, Lily’s writing and photography have been published in major publications including BBC, CNN, Travel & Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, AFAR, Sierra Magazine, Lonely Planet, The Guardian, and multiple in-flight magazines.

You will also find her quoted on her expertise as a solo traveler and sustainable Caribbean advocate in a range of outlets ranging from Oprah to Readers’ Digest Canada and National Geographic Traveler.

Lily has authored guidebooks for Moon Travel Guides and produced content for travel brands and tourism boards, including Marriott Bonvoy, AA Vacations, TripAdvisor, the Belize Tourism Board, and the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism.

Forbes magazine featured her as one of “15 Black Travel Writers to Read Now” in 2020.

She is also the recipient of the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Marcia Vickery Wallace award for excellence in travel journalism. 

In 2020, Lily launched a new initiative called See the Caribbean, the first-ever traveler resource and storytelling platform showcasing sustainable, green travel to the Caribbean. She also joined Impact Travel Alliance’s global team as senior advisor.

Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, raised in Cote d’Ivoire and educated in the UK and U.S., plus nearly decade of exploring and living in the Caribbean region, including Belize, Girma’s “third culture” life journey shapes her work and her philosophy on tourism as a vehicle for cross cultural exchange and social impact. 

Follow her adventures on social media @sunandstilettos and on her award-winning travel and photography blog, Sunshine and Stilettos.