Kent County Tourism Corporation today announced its 2018 Celebration of Tourism & Luncheon Award recipients. The event will be held on Friday, November 9th at the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino from 11:00a.m. to 2:00p.m.
This year's Luncheon will feature keynote speaker, Dave Raymond, from Raymond Entertainment Group & The Fun Department. He pioneered the field of sports mascots as the original Phanatic.
New this year are two additional award categories, Village and Certified Tourism Ambassador of the Year Award. The Village of the Year Award will go to City of Milford. They were selected because of its thriving art scene, numerous events held in the City, including the Inaugural Milford Ladybug Music Festival and Riverfest.
With the opening of the Riverwalk Kayak Launch, Milford is now a favorite for outdoor enthusiasts. In addition, City of Milford, Milford Parks & Recreation, Downtown Milford, INC, and Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford will be recognized for their continued collaboration with the city making Milford a great destination for visitors.
In March, Kent County Tourism launched the Delaware's Quaint Villages Tourism Ambassadors Program. This program serves to increase tourism by inspiring front-line employees and volunteers to turn every visitor encounter into a positive experience.
This year's Certified Tourism Ambassador Award winners are: Meaghann Shaw from Hampton Inn Dover and Susan Thau from Home2 Suites.
"Keeping with the tradition, the Tourism Person of the Year will not be announced until the day of the event," said Wendie Vestfall, President of Kent County Tourism. "We're excited to have this person as a part of our tourism community, always eager and willing to help our continued efforts as we grow our shared drive to bring potential visitors to the County."
Other awards at the event:
Legacy Award: Kent County Tourism will have a special recognition program where they'll recognize past board members for their service, time and dedication. This year's legacy award will be given to Heather Creager (Delaware State News- 9 years in service), Jim Waddington (Kent County Government- 5 years in service), and Claudia Leister (Milford Museum-5 years in service)
Tourism Partner of the Year Award: Dover International Speedway When NASCAR announced that the Spring Races would be over the same weekend as the Dover Days Festival, both organizations found themselves in a predicament. After meeting, Kent County Tourism and Dover International Speedway decided to form a partnership to make the weekend a win-win for all of Dover. The marketing campaign that resulted was "From Horses to Horsepower, One Great Weekend for Dover." The collaboration was a huge success and more visitors were exposed to Dover than ever before. The campaign even put Dover in the national spotlight with the Fox Sports segment, "Where's Wallace?" seen by three-million+ people nationwide. The collaboration continued into the Fall with the sponsorship of the Annual NASCAR Hauler Parade by Delaware's Quaint Villages. Through the efforts of the two organizations overall tourism and brand awareness to Delaware's Quaint Villages increased, with website visitation to the bureau's website (www.VisitDelawareVillages.com) increasing 73% over 2017 during the same time-frame.
Tourism Attraction of the Year Award: Delaware State Fairgrounds: With the additional concerts at the Quillen Arena, events like The Great Pumpkin Carve Festival, and Bourbon, Beer & Butts. Along with bumper cars on ice at the Centre Ice Rink and a record-breaking attendance at this year's fair helped the Fairgrounds elevate Harrington as a destination in the eyes of visitors to Kent County.
Tourism Champion of the Year Award: Dover Police Department: Over the past year, the Dover Police Department has helped support our community by making sure that both visitors and local community members stay safe at numerous events that take place throughout Dover each year. The community especially appreciates the extra man power it took the first weekend in May with the Dover Days Festival and NASCAR falling on the same weekend.