The Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association honored the tourism industry’s top performers Thursday, June 3 during the 24th Annual Pinnacle Awards at MeadowView Conference Resort & Convention Center hosted by Visit Kingsport.
Hospitality Tennessee President & CEO Rob Mortensen was on hand to deliver the keynote address as the top performers who contribute to tourist-related community and economic development in the Northeast Tennessee region were honored at the event, which was presented by Bristol Motor Speedway and produced in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. The organization saw 71 entries in categories for marketing, advertising, events, virtual, attractions, individual achievement, and supporting business awards.
Ranked by a panel of judges within the tourism industry associated with the Southeast Tourism Society, 36 Pinnacle Awards were given to the top entry in each category.
Visit Johnson City and its partners took home 10 awards at the event, including Best New Event (For the Love of Down Home), Best Virtual Series(The Goose Chase) and Best Public Relations Campaign (Mask Up JC).
“After an incredibly challenging year, it was amazing to see all the events and marketing efforts throughout Northeast Tennessee’s tourism industry,” said VJC Executive Director, Brenda Whitson. “We are proud of all our team accomplished in Johnson City during the pandemic but none of it would be possible without our partners. It was a true pleasure to see them recognized in such a big way.”
The Town of Jonesborough also collected plenty of awards, including Event of the Year honors for the St. Paddy’s Day Celebration and the National Storytelling Festival. Jonesborough was also honored for its Halloween in Jonesborough event, “We’re Here for You” public relations campaign, and other initiatives.
The event also hosted graduates of the Hospitality & Tourism Certificate program in partnership between East Tennessee State University and Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association.
Tourism is the second largest economic driver in Tennessee, with Northeast Tennessee generating more than $911 million in direct tourist spending, more than $194 million in payroll while employing nearly 7,000 people, and generating more than $27 million in local sales tax receipts annually.