Indiana Tourism Award recipients unveiled
The Indiana Tourism Association announced the winners of the 2023 Indiana Tourism Awards on Tuesday. The awards honor “tourism businesses who are creative, innovative, and maximize the dollars invested.”
The honorees were recognized during annual Indiana Tourism Conference in Elkhart, which attracted more than 200 tourism leaders from throughout the state.
Indiana Tourism Association Executive Director Carrie Lambert discussed the importance of the awards in an interview with Inside INdiana Business Host Gerry Dick, who served as emcee of the ceremony Tuesday.
“This is the only award for the state of Indiana within the tourism industry to really be able to celebrate the successes of our partners all across the state, whether that’s the website, the travel guide that they produce, or even their marketing campaign,” said Lambert. “And this one chance where they can compete against everyone across the state to showcase their talents.”
Lambert said the organization saw more than 60 nominations for the awards this year, with 15 ultimately being awarded.
This year’s winners include:
- Best Advocacy Initiative – Indiana State Festivals Association
- Best Brochure – Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari
- Best Cooperative Partnership – Elkhart County, IN CVB
- Best Culinary Focused Marketing Campaign – Indiana Foodways Alliance and Indiana Destination Development Corporation
- Best Digital Marketing Campaign – Visit Bloomington
- Best Event/Festival (Marketing Budgets under $300,000) – Greencastle Music Fest
- Best Event/Festival (Marketing Budgets over $300,000) – Visit Michigan City LaPorte
- Best New Experience (Marketing Budgets under $300,000) – Steuben County Tourism Bureau
- Best New Experience (Marketing Budgets over $300,000) – Visit South Bend Mishawaka
- Best New Merchandise – Visit Fort Wayne
- Best Overall Marketing Campaign – Indianapolis Zoo and Borshoff
- Best Specialty Item – Shelby County Tourism and Visitors Bureau
- Best Visitors Guide (Marketing Budgets under $300,000) – Visit Madison, Inc.
- Best Visitors Guide (Marketing Budgets over $300,000) – Visit Fort Wayne
The organization also awarded the Indiana Tourism Association Member of the Year award to Luanne Mattson, chief marketing officer of SoIN Tourism in Jeffersonville. The award is presented to association members “who stepped forward and provided exemplary service and leadership to the industry and the association.”
Lambert said Indiana’s tourism industry has really rallied from the pandemic.
“People want to get out. They want to experience,” she said. “Thanks to our partners at the Indiana Destination Development Corp., they do some economic impact numbers every year, and the most compelling of those is that on average, a Hoosier saves $530 per household because we have tourists coming into our communities spending money supporting our attractions, our restaurants and our lodging. And those numbers are those are real savings for Hoosiers.”