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Nominations for the 2016 Southern Delaware Tourism Awards due November 15

Tourism is a $1.7 billion (and growing!) industry in Sussex County. In fact, nearly 20% of all jobs in the county – about 18,000 of them – are tourism related. And tourism revenue saves each Delaware household nearly $1400 in taxes each year. This is definitely due, in large part, to our fortunate geographical location and our beautiful 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 expanding the number of nominating categories in 2016 from one to four.

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, 2015 and October, 2016. Nominations must be completed and submitted by November 15, 2016 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 (for first time events 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

Past recipients of the annual award 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 and Eating Rehoboth Walking Food Tours. Last year’s recipient was The Sea Witch Halloween and Fiddlers’ Festival.

Nomination forms and instructions for the 2016 Southern Delaware Tourism Awards can be obtained at www.visitsoutherndelaware.com/nomination, or by calling 302-856-1818.

Southern Delaware Tourism supports and encourages the identification, development and promotion of sustainable, year-round tourism in Southern Delaware that contributes to economic growth and improves the quality of life. For more information, call Southern Delaware Tourism at 302-856-1818 or visit their website, www.VisitSouthernDelaware.com.

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