Georgia Tourism Industry Professionals Honored at Georgia Governor’s Tourism Conference

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

Several of the state’s top tourism professionals were recognized at the 2018 Georgia Governor’s Tourism Conference in Atlanta. Hosted by the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Georgia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus, the annual industry event brought together more than 400 tourism industry professionals from across the state.

“Georgia’s tourism industry is a significant contributor to our economic health, generating a record $63.1 billion in economic impact, and employing more than 460,000 Georgians,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Our tourism industry professionals continue to welcome a record number of visitors to our state each year. I thank them for their dedication to making Georgia a top vacation destination and for ensuring the tourism industry maintains its success well into the future.”

The 2018 award recipients, nominated by the Georgia tourism industry, include:

  • The Paul Broun Award for Marketing Initiatives was awarded to Dunwoody Defined, Dunwoody Convention and Visitors Bureau.

  • The Larry Allen Tourism Leadership Award was presented to Jan Hackett with the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce.

  • The Al Burruss Award for Creative Expression was awarded to the Woodstock Visitor Center at the Woodstock CVB.

  • The Paul Nelson Award for Outdoor Recreation and Preservation was awarded to Becky Kelley with Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites (DNR).

  • The Bill Hardman Sr. Tourism Champion Product Development Award was presented to Columbia County and the Columbia County Convention & Visitors Bureau for their BMX Track.

  • The Bill Hardman Sr. Tourism Champion Private Sector Award was presented to Paul Milliken with “Good Day Atlanta” on WAGA Fox 5.

  • The Bill Hardman Sr. Tourism Champion Partnership Award was presented to Hospitality Highway Farm Trail Partnership.

  • The Bill Hardman Sr. Tourism Champion in Government Award was presented to Representative Hank Johnson of the United States House of Representatives.

  • The Tom Kilgore Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Tyron Spearman with the Tifton-Tift County Tourism Association.

“Communities all across Georgia feel the positive impact that the tourism industry has in our state,” said GDEcD Deputy Commissioner for Tourism Kevin Langston. “As we work to expand our reach in attracting visitors from across the globe, our efforts would not be possible without the contributions of Georgia Tourism team as well our tourism industry partners.”

The Governor’s Tourism Conference provides a platform to educate members of the tourism industry about travel and tourism-related issues on a national and statewide level, focusing on emerging trends as well as ways to reinforce current tourism efforts and future initiatives. The 2019 Georgia Governor’s Tourism Conference will be hosted by the LaGrange Troup County Chamber of Commerce and held September 8 – 11 at the new Great Wolf Lodge & Conference Center.