Nominations for Southern Delaware Tourism Awards due Nov. 15

October 11, 2017

Tourism is a $1.7 billion industry in Sussex County, and it is still growing. In fact, about 18,000 jobs in Sussex County are tourism-related. Tourism revenue saves each Delaware household nearly $1,400 in taxes each year. This is definitely due, in large part, to its geographical location and beautiful beaches - but it's also the result of a lot of initiative, creativity, planning and hard work.

There are many people and organizations who strive to keep up with changing travel trends and demographics, and to create and provide the types of attractions, events, activities, services and atmosphere that visitors to Southern Delaware will be delighted to find when they arrive.

In recognition and appreciation of this, Southern Delaware Tourism is opening nominations for its 2017 awards.

Area residents and businesses are asked to nominate groups or individuals who have made significant contributions to the tourism industry in Sussex County between October 2016 and October 2017. Nominations must be completed and submitted by Wednesday, Nov. 15, to be considered. The winners, selected by an impartial panel of judges, 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."

The categories and criteria for each are:

Best Event

Criteria: 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: Visitation draw, uniqueness, out-of-area promotion, helping to spotlight Sussex County as a destination.

Best Attraction

Criteria: Visitation draw, tourism economic impact to the community, group friendliness, collaboration with accommodations.

Tourism Partner of the Year (business or organization)

Criteria: Collaboration and participation with Southern Delaware Tourism and/or chambers of commerce in Sussex County

Last year's recipients of the annual awards included:

Best Event: Return Day

Best New Event: First Annual Boo-B-Q by the Sea

Best Attraction: Cape Henlopen State Park's Gordons Pond Trail and Junction & Breakwater Trail

Tourism Partner of the Year: Western Sussex Tourism Committee - sponsored by the Greater Seaford and Greater Laurel Chambers of Commerce

Past recipients of the annual award also include The Freeman Stage at Bayside. Nassau Valley Vineyards, the Apple Scrapple Festival, Dogfish Head Brewery Tours, the Rehoboth Beach Independent 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.

For nomination forms and instructions for the 2017 Southern Delaware Tourism Awards, go to, or call 302-856-1818.


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