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Oklahoma's Top Tourism Entities Honored During RedBud Awards

May 17, 2017
View photos from the RedBuds
Read about the 2017 Oklahoma Conference on Tourism

Oklahoma's Top Tourism Entities Honored During RedBud Awards

The Oklahoma Travel Industry Association (OTIA) held its annual RedBud Awards Gala at the Oklahoma History Center on May 16, 2017. 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 2017 Oklahoma Conference on Tourism.
Emceed by Lt. Governor Todd Lamb and OETA’s Jenifer Reynolds, 31 awards were given in 18 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, 2016 and December 31, 2016. 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: Wild Things Farm
RedBud: Mowdy Ranch
Best Social Media Campaign
RedBud: Chickasaw Cultural Center
Merit: American Banjo Museum
Best Brochure or Publication - Tri-fold or single sheet
RedBud: City of McAlester Tourism
Best Brochure or Publication - 10 pages or less 
RedBud: Choctaw Country

Best Brochure or Publication - 11 pages or more ($25,000 or less budget)
Redbud: Great Plains Country
Best Brochure or Publication - 11 pages or more ($30,000 - $50,000 budget)
RedBud: Tulsa Regional Tourism
Best Overall Marketing Campaign
RedBud: Visit Stillwater
Merit: Riverwind Casino
Best Website
RedBud: Visit Stillwater
Merit: Visit Claremore
Best Partnership 
RedBud: City of Pauls Valley 17th Annual Okie Noodling Tournament
Merit: Will Rogers Memorial Museum/Will Rogers Days
Outstanding Media Coverage - Online 
RedBud: Cherokee Heritage Center
Merit: Choctaw Country
Outstanding Media Coverage - Print 
RedBud: Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau
Merit: Tulsa Regional Tourism

Outstanding Media Coverage - Overall
RedBud: Chickasaw Cultural Center
Outstanding Attraction
RedBud: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Merit: Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve

Outstanding New Attraction 
RedBud: The Pioneer Woman Mercantile
Merit: Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum
Outstanding Temporary Exhibit
RedBud: The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art, State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda
Merit: Philbrook Museum, Native Fashion Show
Outstanding Event
RedBud: City of McAlester Tourism / Italian Festival
Merit: National Indian Taco Championship
Outstanding New Event
RedBud: Winstar Golf Course & Academy, World Long Drive Championship
Merit: City of Guthrie / Red Brick Nights Event
Outstanding Lodging Property 
RedBud: Chickasaw Nation / Chickasaw Retreat & Conference Center
Merit: Hyatt Regency Tulsa
Tourism Organization of the Year
RedBud: Choctaw Country
In addition to the RedBud Awards the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Sandy Price of the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau. 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. 

“Sandy is a true professional who has worked for over 25 years to grow Oklahoma City's visitor travel market," said Debra Bailey, President & CEO of the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association. "Many in the industry have benefited from her wealth of knowledge and we are proud to name her the recipient of the 2017 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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