Nominations open for Southern Delaware Tourism Awards

GEORGETOWN — Tourism is a growing $2 billion-plus industry in Sussex County, thanks in large part to its beaches and geographic location.

Approximately 18,000 jobs – 16 percent of all jobs in the county – are tourism related.

In recognition and appreciation of this, Southern Delaware Tourism is accepting nominations for its 2019 awards.

Area residents and businesses may nominate groups or individuals who have made significant contributions to the tourism industry in Sussex County between October 2018 and October 2019.

Nominations must be completed and submitted by Friday, Nov. 8 to be considered. Winners, selected by a panel of judges will be announced in December.

“Tourism is a huge economic engine for Sussex County,” said 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.”

SDT encourages nominations of both newly and previously nominated entries who have not yet won an SDT award.

Nomination forms and instructions for the 2019 Southern Delaware Tourism Awards can be obtained at, or by calling 856-1818.

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

Last year’s annual awards recipients included:

Best Event: Mid Atlantic Sea Glass & Coastal Arts Festival.

Best New Event: Fire & Ice Festival and Ladybug Music Festival (tie).

Best Attraction: Freeman Stage.

Tourism Partner of the Year: Delaware State Parks.

Past recipients of the annual award include Dogfish Dash, Winter Wonderfest, Lefty’s Alley & Eats, Delaware Beach Book, Return Day, First Annual BooBQue by the Sea, Cape Henlopen State Park’s Gordons Pond Trail & Junction and Breakwater Trail, Western Sussex Tourism Committee, 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.

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