Tourism Industry Names Winners of the 4th Annual National Tourism Week Hospitality Awards
Thu, May 19, 2011 12:36 pm EST
Local Residents, Government Officials and Businesses Recognized for Contributions to Tourism
CONTACT: Lyndsay Rossman at (904) 421-9153 or email@example.com
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (May 18, 2011) – Tonight, Visit Jacksonville named the four recipients and seven finalists of the prestigious National Tourism Week hospitality awards at a ceremony held at the Touchdown Club of EverBank Field. The top prize of the evening, the Visit Jacksonville Hall of Fame Award, was granted to Peter Bragan, Jr. and the Jacksonville Suns.
The Hall of Fame Award honors individuals whose vision, creativity and passion have had a positive and significant impact on the development and/or growth of Jacksonville’s hospitality and tourism industry. The Bragan family and the Double-A Jacksonville Suns have been a part of the Jacksonville fabric since 1984 with the intention to create an excellent All-American fan experience and position the city as one of the finest baseball cities in the Southeast. With entertainment such as Friday fireworks displays, post-game concerts and championship talent having won consecutive Southern League titles in 2009 and 2010, the Jacksonville Suns are one of the great tourism products offered to visitors and residents in the destination.
Other winners from the evening included:
- Ed Burr, Margo Dundon Leadership Award – Named for the past Visit Jacksonville Chairwoman of the Board of Directors, this award recognizes an individual who portrays Dundon’s vision and commitment to enhancing local tourism. Local business leader, Burr has shown strategic leadership on Downtown Jacksonville as Chair of the Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Governors Downtown Revitalization Committee and as a member of the Civic Council. Knowing that Downtown’s revival is key to growing our city’s image as a tourism and business destination, he has been integral in promoting the message that Jacksonville needs a new convention center and increased tourism product.
Bistro Aix Restaurant and Lounge, Visit Jacksonville Partner of the Year Award – Bistro Aix earned the top spot for Partner of the Year due to its support of Visit Jacksonville participating in media and sales visits, marketing promotions and partner events. The restaurant is a top destination for visitors looking for a locally owned, locally operated dining experience, quality service and unique cuisine. Chef Tom Gray’s inventive dishes and partnering with local farms for the freshest ingredients have garnered him national recognition from the James Beard Foundation, a coveted honor for the country’s chefs.
Finalists for Partner of the Year Award included:
~ Jacksonville Marriott, Finalist: Accommodation
~ Riverside Arts Market, Finalist: Attraction
~ Bistro Aix Restaurant and Lounge, Finalist: Dining/Nightlife
~ SMG Jacksonville, Finalist: Service/Meeting Facility
~ Body Tech Mobile Massage, Finalist: Minority Owned Business
~ Downtown Vision, Inc., Finalist: Community Partner
~ Flippin’ Good Cookies, Finalist: New Partner
~ Brooks Rehabilitation, Finalist: Medical
- Sergio Lopez, Hometown Ambassador Award – The head swim coach and aquatics director for The Bolles School exemplifies the passion for tourism associated with this award to increase destination awareness and visitor demand. While he has two events booked for 2011, past events that Lopez was instrumental in securing for Jacksonville accounted for over 1,700 attendees with an estimated economic impact of $2.7 million in visitor spending. He assisted in booking the U.S. Aquatics Sports National Convention in 2011, 2014 and 2018 and is paving the way for Jacksonville to be the potential host city for the future Olympic swim trials.
The awards ceremony was preceded with a keynote address by Robert Skrob, executive director of the Florida Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus. The address focused on updates of legislation in Tallahassee that could affect tourism such as online travel tax exemptions, immigration and VISIT FLORIDA reorganization.
Visit Jacksonville is the marketing organization contracted by the Duval County Tourist Development Council (TDC) to champion the growth of business and leisure tourism in Northeast Florida. Along with its nearly 400 tourism partners, Visit Jacksonville stimulates economic impact, quality of life and recognition for the Northeast Florida region. For a closer look at all there is to see and do in Jacksonville, go to http://www.visitjacksonville.com/