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Oklahoma's Top Tourism Entities Honored During RedBud Awards

May 17, 2018
View photos from the RedBuds
Read about the 2018 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 15, 2018. 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 2018 Oklahoma Conference on Tourism.
Emceed by Lt. Governor Todd Lamb and Jenifer Reynolds, 32 awards were given in 16 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, 2017 and December 31, 2017. 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: Agape House Berry Farm
Merit: Blue River Valley Winery

Best Social Media
Redbud: Bartlesville Convention & Visitors Bureau
Merit: Tulsa Sports Commission - 40 Faces of the Tulsa Run

Best Brochure or Publication - Tri-fold or single sheet
Redbud: Greater Sapulpa Area Attractions Map
Merit: Chisholm Trail - 150th Anniversary Rack Card

Best Brochure or Publication - 11 pages or more ($30,000 budget or more)
Redbud: Oklahoma City CVB Spring/Summer Visitors Guide

Best Brochure or Publication - 11 pages or more ($25,000 or Less Budget)
Redbud: Choctaw Country Summer, Fall/Winter Guide

Best Overall Marketing Campaign
Redbud: Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism 
Merit: Visit Norman

Best Website
Redbud: Visit Norman
Merit: Chickasaw Country

Best Partnership
RedBud: Visit OKC, Visit Norman, Visit Stillwater for their "Influencer Campaign"
Merit: Chisholm Trail 150th Anniversary Partnership

Outstanding Media Coverage
Redbud: Chisholm Trail 150th Partnership
Merit: Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism

Outstanding Attraction
Redbud: Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve
Merit: Pawhuska Chamber - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

Outstanding New Attraction
RedBud: Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism - Sequoyah's Cabin Museum
Merit: Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum

Outstanding Temporary Exhibit
RedBud: Downtown Oklahoma City Initiatives - Make It Rain Poems
Merit: Cherokee National Historical Society, Inc. - Return From Exile

Outstanding Event
RedBud: Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon - A Run to Remember
Merit: City of Pauls Valley - 18th Annual Okie Noodling Tournament

Outstanding New Event
RedBud: POSTOAK Lodge - POSTOAK Wine & Jazz Festival
RedBud: Visit Stillwater - Stillwater's Winter Wonderland

Outstanding Lodging Property
RedBud: Shangri-La Resort

Tourism Organization of the Year
Redbud: Chickasaw Country
In addition to the RedBud Awards the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Cristy Morrison of Visit Stillwater. 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. 

“Cristy is a true professional who has worked for over 29 years to grow Stillwater'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 2018 AAA Oklahoma Lifetime Achievement Award.”

What's Happening
Our annual Oklahoma Conference on Tourism & Redbud Awards was a success! These events help the tourism industry work together to grow our attractions and communities. Click the link below to view more photos from our events!
The dates and featured chefs for Odyssey de Culinaire 2019 have been set! The first dinner will be Thursday, July 18 at The Bond in Tulsa, and the second dinner will be Thursday, July 25 at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City. We hope to see you at one or both of these unique dinners benefitting the Oklahoma ProStart® program!
The Oklahoma Travel Industry Association will partner with Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell to produce the 2019 Lt. Governor's Travel & Tourism Summits, which will be held around the state. Each half-day program provides tourism education featuring speakers covering a range of topics on best practices to promote tourism in your region, and includes a townhall-type discussion by the Lt. Governor on tourism development in each of the areas visited around the state.
Delegates from the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association met with U.S. Senator James Lankford in Washington D.C. regarding travel and tourism issues during the U.S. Travel Association's Destination Capitol Hill. The event brings travel leaders from across the country to educate policymakers about the power of travel. The program combines a legislative day on Capitol Hill with advocacy training, guest speakers and peer-to-peer networking. Destination Capitol Hill provides delegates with an opportunity to learn about upcoming legislation that impacts travel, network with peers and meet with members of Congress to stress the importance of travel as an economic driver.

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