Frankfort, KY, November 16, 2021

Prestonsburg Tourism Wins Prestigious Tourism Awards

Prestonsburg Tourism has received three Traverse Awards for Excellence in Tourism Marketing from the Kentucky Travel Industry Association. The awards were presented during the 2021 Kentucky Travel Industry Annual (KTIA) Conference held November 10-12 in Louisville.

KTIA’s Traverse Awards serve as top honors for organizations within the travel and tourism industry. Travel businesses, attractions, and marketing organizations submit their best work for consideration in 10 categories. The Traverse Awards are judged by a panel of out-of-state travel and tourism industry experts. Award criteria include concept, creativity, results and impact. This year’s awards saw over 110 entries submitted from throughout Kentucky for the competition.

Prestonsburg Tourism was awarded Gold in the Video Category for the project “With Love, From Prestonsburg” which featured local faces sharing personal written letters to loved ones during a time of separation. In addition to the Gold Traverse Award, the video was also selected for the prestigious overall Most Innovative Traverse Award. Incredibly, this is the second time in a row that Prestonsburg Tourism has been awarded this distinguished honor and is the first organization in KTIA to do so. Judges commented that “after an extremely difficult year, this
video made them feel like they received a much needed hug”, and “it is so refreshing to see real people share vulnerable experiences.” Additionally, Prestonsburg Tourism was awarded Bronze for their Marketing Campaign “Destinations Change” which showcased animated versions of many favorite local outdoor adventures and featured the song “Wild Frontier” by Nicholas Jamerson. Both videos were written, directed, and produced by Prestonsburg Tourism. The tourism office partnered with DoodleHouse Studios to create the animation for “Destination Change”. “With Love, From Prestonsburg” was brought to life in partnership with Mountain Top Media and filmed by Charles Mims. Prestonsburg Tourism’s award winning campaigns can be viewed on their Youtube and Facebook channels.

According to Prestonsburg Tourism’s Executive Director, Samantha Johnson, “These awards were a huge honor. We’re extremely proud of how our community grew stronger in the face of great adversity. Even more so in the last two years, Prestonsburg became a leading destination in Kentucky for outdoor adventurist to enjoy with attractions like Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, Sugarcamp Mountain Trails, Stonecrest Golf Course, Dewey Lake, Middle Creek National Battlefield, the Prestonsburg Passage, and several open-air and indoor concerts. We saw our attractions, hotels, restaurants, and local businesses step up to an even higher level of service throughout the pandemic, and we’re proud that these campaigns were able to support the creativity and initiatives happening here. ‘Innovative’ is the perfect word to describe Prestonsburg and all of eastern Kentucky.”

According to KTIA president & CEO Hank Phillips, ”This year’s Traverse Awards are especially significant since they were not presented last year because of the cancellation of our conference due to the coronavirus. Therefore, the awards span a pre-pandemic period as well as the period during which the tourism industry was being devastated by the pandemic economic crisis. Whether before or during the pandemic, the entries reflected the enormous creativity and marketing savvy that has propelled tourism to being a premier driver of the Kentucky economy and the source of jobs and enhanced quality of life for Kentucky families.”

The Kentucky Travel Industry Association represents and serves all segments of Kentucky’s tourism industry, which despite the pandemic’s severe impact, contributed $8.9 billion to Kentucky’s economy in 2020. The 900-member association engages in advocacy and provides its members with education, information and business development opportunities. The association also works to inform the public of the enormous economic, employment and tax revenue contributions tourism makes to the people of Kentucky.


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