By Scott Thomas, Southern Delaware Tourism

Holiday shopping is in high gear. During this year, so many travelers have reluctantly skipped visiting their favorite vacation spots and are feeling terribly nostalgic for carefree travel to favorite destinations. 

To aid Southern Delaware tourism businesses and retailers in capturing some of this nostalgia and travel aspiration, Southern Delaware Tourism (SDT) created a promotion called “Gift Yourself – or a Loved One – Something to Look Forward To!” 

The promotion links holiday shoppers to participating hotels that are offering gift certificates or value-added stays, and lists of local retail and specialty vendors including a list of books set in Southern Delaware with links to local bookstores. To view this promotion, visit

We anticipate maintaining this promotion at least through Valentine’s Day and likely through Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, so we encourage hotel partners that are not yet listed as well as tourism businesses that maintain online shops to join in.  

While this promotion was created to encourage out-of-area shoppers to support Sussex County businesses and is being regularly posted to our social media feeds, it’s also a great way for locals who may be reluctant to visit retailers – or who are just too busy to shop – to buy local during this holiday season and beyond. 

As noted by the Sussex County Office of Economic Development’s Keep Sussex Strong initiative, “locals buying locally matters.” 

From the Keep Sussex Strong website: A successful Sussex County comeback relies on each of us – on our entire community coming together to support local businesses and organizations to Keep Sussex Strong. Locals buying locally keeps Sussex working, playing, and dreaming. It preserves the character of our communities. 

It supports our neighbors’ businesses and their employees’ jobs, and, in turn, benefits all of the local businesses they count on every day. It supports the local arts and entertainment, museums, attractions, activities, and community organizations that enhance the unique quality of life we all enjoy here. And it encourages the entrepreneurial and artistic spirit that keeps this very special place thriving.

SDT invites our neighbors to Keep Sussex Strong by purchasing holiday gifts locally. We hope you’ll visit the vendors participating in our promotion, whether online or in person. We also strongly encourage our tourism partners who are not yet part of this promotion to join us. 

To add your tourism business to this promotion, email your business name, the link to your website (for hotel partners) or to your online store (retail partners) and a brief one- or two-sentence description of your offerings to Ca*****@Vi*******************.com.