The Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association honored the tourism industry’s top performers last Thursday during the 23rd Annual Pinnacle Awards at the Johnson City Country Club.
Presented by Bristol Motor Speedway and produced in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development, Tennessee Commissioner of Tourist Development and Director of the Economic Recovery Group Mark Ezell was on hand to deliver the keynote address. The top performers who contribute to tourist-related community and economic development in the Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia region were honored.
Tell It to Me: The Johnson City Sessions 90th Anniversary Celebration and the Meet the Mountains Festival were both honored in the Festival or Event of the Year category. The Long Trip Home, a community play staged by the McKinney Center won Best New Event. Hands On! Discovery Center was honored in the Attraction of the Year category while Visit Johnson City and Main Street Jonesborough took home advertising and promotions awards. Johnson City’s Jenna Moore won the Rising Star Award while Bristol Motor Speedway’s Logan McCabe earned a special Lifetime Achievement Award.
The organization saw more than 53 entries. Ranked by a panel of judges within the tourism and advertising industry associated with the Southeast Tourism Society, Pinnacle Awards were given to the top entry in each category.
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 $877 million in direct tourist spending, more than $189 million in payroll while employing more than 6,800 people, and generating more than $26 million in local sales tax receipts annually.