WINSTON COUNTY - Two individuals from Winston County have been named North Alabama Elite Tourism Professionals, a program of the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA) where tourism employees demonstrating outstanding customer service and hospitality in the 16-county North Alabama region are recognized in celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week.
Haleyville Mayor Ken Sunseri and Winston County Circuit Clerk JD Snoddy have been named North Alabama Elite Tourism Professionals for their contributions to the tourism industry. Each recipient was presented with a Wal-Mart gift card.
May is National Tourism Month, and the North Alabama Elite Tourism Professional recognition is part of National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), an annual celebration of the contributions and accomplishments of the U.S. travel industry. NTTW was created by Congress in 1983 to underscore the economic power of travel in the U.S. The 37th annual NTTW, set for May 3-9, 2020, spotlights resilience and hope in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic with this year’s theme: the Spirit of Travel. The week arrives at an opportune moment to unite the industry, celebrate its indomitable spirit and elevate the role it will play in America’s economic and employment recovery.
“The travel and tourism industry is comprised of a diverse group of hardworking individuals. Whether these award recipients are employed in hospitality, entertainment, lodging or food and beverage, they repeatedly rise to the occasion in creating joy and memorable experiences for North Alabama’s visitors,” said AMLA President and CEO Tami Reist. “Because of these individuals, the spirit of travel will not be shattered and with their leadership and commitment, the travel and tourism industry will be integral to our nation’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.”
Travel generated $16.8 billion for Alabama’s economy in 2019, and these visitors support over 208,000 American jobs. In North Alabama, the travel industry generated $3.2 billion in tourist expenditures and over 35,000 jobs are supported by travel and tourism. In 2019, more than $1 billion of state and local tax revenues were generated by travel and tourism activities. Without those taxes, each household in Alabama would have had to pay $537 in additional taxes to maintain current service levels.
Other regional award recipients were:
Donny Wilson - Evelyn Burrow Museum, Hanceville;
Lesley Hyde - Southern Ghost Tours - Cullman County;
Cassie Medley - Franklin County Chamber of Commerce;
Sally Moore: Tiffin Motor Allegro Club - Red Bay;
Brenda Suski - Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce;
Tabitha Pace - Lawrence County Industrial Development Board;
Hilda Smith - Hampton Inn by Hilton - Winfield.
For more information on the recognitions, National Tourism Month or North Alabama’s preparation plan for recovery from the Covid-19 public health crisis, contact Reist at 1-800-648-5381.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.