Nominations for Southern Delaware Tourism Awards due Nov. 3
Tourism is a $2.7+ billion (and growing) industry in Sussex County. In fact, more than 23,000 jobs in the county are tourism-related.
Tourism revenue saves each Delaware household more than $1,600 in taxes each year. This is due, in large part, to the county’s fortunate geographical location and its beautiful 5-star beaches. However, it’s also the result of a lot of initiative, creativity, planning and hard work by the many people and organizations that strive to keep up with changing travel trends, and 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 between October 2022 and October 2023. Nominations must be completed and submitted by Friday, Nov. 3, to be considered. The winners will be announced in December.
“Tourism is a huge economic engine for Sussex County,” said Scott Thomas, Southern Delaware Tourism executive director. “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 another nomination.
The categories and criteria for each are:
Best Event 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 and helping spotlight Sussex County as a destination.
Best New Event (for first-time events only) 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 and helping spotlight Sussex County as a destination.
Best Attraction will be presented to a tourism attraction in Sussex County and is based on visitation draw, tourism economic impact to the community, group friendliness and collaboration with accommodations.
Philanthropic 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 will be presented to an individual, business or organization and is 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.
The 2022 recipients of the annual awards were: Best Event, 302 Day; Best New Event, Schellville Enchanted Winter Celebration; Best Attraction, Delaware Botanic Gardens; Philanthropic Award, Joshua M. Freeman Foundation; and Tourism Partner of the Year, La Vida Hospitality/Josh Grapski, managing partner, marketing and development.
Past recipients of the annual awards also include Winter Delmarva Dogfish Birding Weekends; Ashley Houdbert - Visit Rehoboth/Visit Lewes; Freeman Arts Pavilion; Rehoboth Beach Main Street Inc.; Delaware Sea Grant College Program/University of Delaware; Vietnam Veterans Memorial Moving Wall, 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 at Bayside; 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 and Junction & Breakwater Trail; Western Sussex Tourism Committee; Nassau Valley Vineyards; Apple Scrapple Festival; Dogfish Head Brewery Tours; Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival; Lewes Maritime History Trail; Ocean to Bay Bike Tour; Eating Rehoboth Walking Food Tours; and Sea Witch Halloween and Fiddlers’ Festival.
To obtain nomination forms and instructions, go to VisitSouthernDelaware.com or call 302-856-1818.