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Oklahoma's Top Tourism Entities Honored During 2016 RedBud Awards

May 18, 2016
View photos from the RedBuds
Read about the 2016 Oklahoma Conference on Tourism

Oklahoma's Top Tourism Entities Honored During 2016 RedBud Awards

The Oklahoma Travel Industry Association (OTIA) held its annual RedBud Awards Gala at the Oklahoma History Center on May 17, 2016. Open to all Oklahoma tourism entities, the RedBud Awards represent the highest honor given in the Oklahoma tourism industry. The Gala was held as part of the 2016 Oklahoma Conference on Tourism.
Emceed by Lt. Governor Todd Lamb and “Discover Oklahoma” host Jennifer Reynolds, twenty eight awards were given in sixteen categories. The awards recognize Oklahoma's top tourism attractions, events, programs and organizations for outstanding efforts to serve and promote Oklahoma’s tourism industry. 
Competition entries must have been produced, published, broadcast or held between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015. All entries were evaluated by a slate of tourism professionals on specific criteria including customer service and experience, marketing effectiveness, media relations, variety of audiences reached, value, and overall creativity.  
The winners include:
Outstanding Agritourism Attraction
RedBud: P Bar Farms
Merit: Girourd Vines Winery
Best Social Media Campaign 
RedBud: Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism
RedBud: Visit Stillwater
Merit: Sam Noble Museum
Best Brochure or Publication - Tri-fold or single sheet 
RedBud: Duncan Convention & Visitors Bureau - Duncan
Merit: Sapulpa Main Street and Tour Sapulpa - Historic Downtown Sapulpa Walking Tour
Best Brochure or Publication - 10 pages or less 
RedBud: Ponca City Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau - Ponca City Visitors Guide
Merit: Oklahoma Wondertorium - WONDERPRO
Best Brochure or Publication - 11 pages or more 
RedBud: Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum - 20th Anniversary
Merit: Lake Texoma Association - 2015 Guide to Lake Texoma
Best Overall Marketing Campaign
RedBud: Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism
Merit: Visit Norman
Best Website 
RedBud: Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau -
RedBud: Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum -
Best Partnership 
RedBud: Chickasaw Nation - Adventure Road
Merit: Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism and Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame
Outstanding Media Coverage - Television & Online 
RedBud: RSU Public Television - Living Grand on Grand Lake
Outstanding Media Coverage - Newspaper & Magazine 
RedBud: The Artesian Hotel, Casino and Spa
Merit: Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau
Outstanding Attraction 
RedBud: Oklahoma WONDERtorium
Merit: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center

Outstanding New Attraction 
RedBud: Science Museum of Oklahoma - CurioCity
Outstanding Temporary Exhibit 
RedBud: Philbrook Museum - In Living Color: Andy Warhol Exhibit
Merit: Cherokee Heritage Center - The 2015 Miss Cherokee Exhibit
Outstanding Event 
RedBud: Commanche County Memorial Hospital - Spirit of Survival
Merit: Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce - National Indian Taco Championship
Outstanding New Event 
RedBud: Remington Park "Remington Bark"
Merit: Chishom Trail Heritage Center - Campfire, Cattle & Cowboys Gathering
Outstanding Lodging Property 
RedBud: Chickasaw Nation / Artesian Hotel, Casino, and Spa
Merit: POSToak Lodge & Retreat
Tourism Organization of the Year 
RedBud: Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau
In addition to the RedBud Awards the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Kin Thompson of Northeastern State University. The award is presented annually by AAA Oklahoma and is designed to recognize a tourism professional who has spent decades working in and improving Oklahoma’s travel industry. 

“Kin’s passion to serve and make the community and state better has been evidenced in his leadership and facilitation of professional development,” said Debra Bailey, President & CEO of the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association. “Dozens of organizations and people have been greatly benefited by his years of service, and we are proud to name him as recipient of the 2016 AAA Oklahoma Lifetime Achievement Award."

What's Happening
Members of the OTIA will come together for Hospitality Day at the Capitol, where we will spend time speaking to legislators about issues facing our industry, and then culminate in a fabulous reception with more than 600 members and legislators at the Chevy Bricktown Events Center.
OTIA has made it easier to apply for the RedBud Awards! You can either download the RedBud Awards application like you have in the past and submit everything in hard copy form, OR you can apply online. This annual event recognizes Oklahoma tourism attractions, destination marketing organizations, and journalists for their outstanding efforts to serve and promote Oklahoma's tourism industry. The ceremony will be held during the Oklahoma Conference on Tourism on May 15. The deadline to apply is March 2, 2018.
OTIA was thrilled to host three amazing Lt. Governor’s Travel & Tourism Summits this year in Guymon, Sulphur, and Tahlequah. Outstanding speakers presented on a variety of topics, and Lt. Governor Todd Lamb once again joined us for the festivities. We've posted pictures from all events!
The travel industry added 30,000 jobs in October, a significant increase following a drop in travel employment last month due to Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, according to the U.S. Travel Association’s analysis of Friday’s Labor Department employment report.

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