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 over $1,600 in taxes each year. This is definitely due, in large part, to our geographical location and our Five 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 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, 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:
1) Best Event: 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.
2) Best New Event: 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.
3) Best Attraction: 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.
4) Philanthropic Award: 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.
5) Tourism Partner of the Year Award: 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.
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
Tourism Partner of the Year: La Vida Hospitality/Josh Grapski, managing partner, marketing and development
Nomination forms and instructions for the 2023 Southern Delaware Tourism Awards are available online at www.VisitSouthernDelaware.com/tourism-award-nomination, or by calling 302-856-1818.