FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 2, 2018
Contact: Danielle Jonigan, Marketing & Communications Manager
Telephone: 302-734-4888 Ext. 104
Milford, Delaware State Fairgrounds, and Dover Police Department Among Honorees at Celebration of Tourism Luncheon & Awards
Dover, DE—Kent County Tourism Corporation is proud to announce 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. Dave pioneered the field of sports mascots with his innovative in-habitation of the world- renewed Phillie Phanatic. He was the original Phanatic and his vision and performance skill spawned a resolution within the mascot industry.
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 visitors love going to Milford for their 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 multi-faceted program serves to increase tourism by inspiring front-line employees and volunteers to turn every visitor encounter into a positive experience. When visitors have a positive experience, they are more likely to return in the future and share their experience with others. Everyone benefits – the visitor, the industry, the local economy, and most importantly, the front-line worker.
This year’s Certified Tourism Ambassador Award winners are: Meaghann Shaw from Hampton Inn Dover and Susan Thau from Home2 Suites. They both provide exceptional customer service and go above and beyond in making sure that visitors to Delaware’s Quaint Villages are informed and enjoy their time in Kent County.
“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.”
Event sponsors include: Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, Delaware State News, Faw Casson, First State Heritage Park, Hilton Garden Inn, Harrington Raceway & Casino, and Downtown Dover Partnership.
This event is open to public. Tickets are $50 per person/ $300 per table of eight may be purchased online at https://www.VisitDelawareVillages.com/Luncheon or by calling Kent County Tourism at 302-734-4888. Cash, check or credit cards will be accepted on the day of the event as well.
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 timeframe.
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.
Kent County Tourism Corporation (dba Delaware’s Quaint Villages) is the destination marketing organization for Kent County, Delaware and its incorporated cities and towns. As the primary programmatic arm for Kent County travel and tourism promotion, it leads the Kent County tourism industry to work together to generate visitor spending by developing and implementing comprehensive destination marketing programs. It is a self-governing private not-for-profit 501 © 6 corporation with a Board of Directors.