Nominations open for 2017 Southern Delaware Tourism Awards

GEORGETOWN –  Tourism is a growing $1.7 billion industry in Sussex County.

About 18,000 jobs in Sussex County are tourism related. Tourism revenue saves each Delaware household nearly $1,400 in taxes each year, according to Southern Delaware Tourism.

This is definitely due, in large part, to geographical location and 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 demographics and to create and provide the types of attractions, events, activities, services, and atmosphere 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, Delaware between October 2016 and October 2017.

Nominations must be completed and submitted by November 15, 2017 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 (first-time event 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:

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 & Junction and 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 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 2017 Southern Delaware Tourism Awards can be obtained at, or by calling 856-1818.

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