Tourism is a $2.3+ billion (and growing!) industry in Sussex County. In fact, more than 16% of all jobs in the county – almost 20,000 of them – are tourism related. Tourism revenue saves each Delaware household nearly $1,600 in taxes each year. This is definitely due, in large part, to our fortunate geographical location and our beautiful 5 Star beaches – but it’s also the result of a lot of initiative, creativity, planning and hard work by the many people and organizations who strive to keep up with changing travel trends and to create and provide the types of attractions, events, activities, and services that drive visitors to Sussex County.
Area residents and businesses are asked to nominate groups or individuals who have made significant contributions to the tourism industry in Sussex County, Delaware between October, 2021 and October, 2022. Nominations must be completed and submitted by Friday, November 4, 2022 to be considered. The winners will be announced in December.
“Tourism is a huge economic engine for Sussex County,” says Scott Thomas, executive director of Southern Delaware Tourism. “This is our way of honoring those that have gone above and beyond to contribute to the tourism industry in our area. We encourage everyone to consider who they think may be worthy recipients of these awards, and to nominate them.”
Previous nominees who have not won an award are eligible for re-nomination.
The categories and criteria for each are:
Criteria: This award will be presented to an event held in Sussex County during the eligibility period and is based on visitation draw, uniqueness, out-of-area promotion, helping to spotlight Sussex County as a destination.
Best New Event (for first time events held in Sussex County)
Criteria: This award will be presented to an event held for the first time in Sussex County during the eligibility period and is based on visitation draw, uniqueness, out-of-area promotion, helping to spotlight Sussex County as a destination.
Criteria: This award will be presented to a tourism attraction in Sussex County and is based on visitation draw, tourism economic impact to the community, group-friendliness, collaboration with accommodations.
Criteria: This award will be presented to an individual, business or organization and is based on contributing to and promoting the welfare of the community that makes Sussex County a better place to visit. Nominees should highlight all relevant resources and assistance provided to make the county a better destination.
Tourism Partner of the Year Award
Criteria: This award will be presented to an individual, business or organization and will be based on collaborative efforts working with Southern Delaware Tourism and/or Chambers of Commerce in Sussex County. Nominees should highlight shared resources used to develop tourism products, services or attractions.
2021 recipients of the annual awards include:
Pioneer Award: Winter Delmarva Dogfish BirdINNg Weekends
Perseverance Award: Ashley Houdbert – Visit Rehoboth / Visit Lewes
Pivot Award: Freeman Arts Pavilion
Philanthropic Award: Rehoboth Beach Main Street, Inc.
Tourism Partner of the Year: Delaware Sea Grant College Program / University of Delaware
Past recipients of the annual award also include Vietnam Veterans Memorial Moving Wall, the American Legion Family of Post 17, Lewes; Cinema Art Theater, Rehoboth Beach Film Society; Southern Delaware Wine, Food & Music Festival; Delaware Beach Life magazine; Mid Atlantic Sea Glass & Coastal Arts Festival; Fire & Ice Festival; Ladybug Music Festival; Freeman Stage; Delaware State Parks; Dogfish Dash; Winter Wonderfest; Lefty’s Alley & Eats; Delaware Beach Book; Return Day; First Annual BooBQue by the Sea; Cape Henlopen State Park’s Gordons Pond Trail & Junction and Breakwater Trail; Western Sussex Tourism Committee; The Freeman Stage at Bayside; Nassau Valley Vineyards; the Apple Scrapple Festival; Dogfish Head Brewery Tours; the Rehoboth Beach Film Festival; the Lewes Maritime History Trail; the Ocean to Bay Bike Tour; Eating Rehoboth Walking Food Tours; and The Sea Witch Halloween and Fiddlers’ Festival.
Nomination forms and instructions for the 2022 Southern Delaware Tourism Awards can be obtained at www.VisitSouthernDelaware.com/tourism-award-nomination<
Southern Delaware Tourism supports and encourages the identification, development and promotion of sustainable, year-round tourism in Southern Delaware that contributes to economic growth and improves the quality of life. For more information, call Southern Delaware Tourism at 302-856-1818 or visit their website, www.VisitSouthernDelaware.com