As this blog's readers may know, I'm not a fan of photography contests for two main reasons: the entry fees and the terms/conditions that often strip the entrants of their rights to their submitted work.
That said, there are many photographers (travel or otherwise) who view such contests as a way to gain visibility and stature amongst their peers, and perhaps even get recognition for their work from publishers, editors and the like....and consequently, I do mention such contests on The Travel Photographer, but I don't endorse them.
The sponsor of the 2013 World In Focus Photo Contest is Photo District News, and the deadline for entries is August 22. The entry fee is $35 for professionals, and $12 for amateurs, and the grand prize is a week long photo workshop with Maine Media Workshops and a conference pass at the PDN Expo in fall. All winning images will be featured in PDN's March 2014 issue.
There are a number of categories such as Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place, Spontaneous Moments and Photo Essay.
Understandably, the economics of World In Contest are very much tilted in favor of its sponsor...naturally. It's a business after all, and one that -if marketed successfully- can be lucrative to its sponsor(s).
My other issue with this particular photo contest is that one of its definitions for professional photographer (ie one who has to pay an entry fee of $35) is that he/she "Publishes photographs in books, magazines, newspapers, or online regularly".
In other words, if an amateur photographer regularly publishes photographs on Flickr, or wherever...the entry fee is $35 instead of $12.
The moral of the story here is this: if you need to enter such contests for ego boosting purposes or for visibility, do so. You probably need it.