The Gulf County Tourist Development Council was awarded ‘The Henry’ for its Tourism EXPO Event in the category of Tourism Advocacy at the 2012 Flagler Awards held Sept. 5-7, at SeaWorld during the Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism.
“This is the highest honor we could win,” said Jennifer Jenkins, executive director of the Gulf County Tourist Development Council. “This is a big win for Gulf County and much deserved.”
Additionally, Gulf County TDC received a Silver Flagler by Visit Florida for its Gulf County Discovery Guide.
In February 2011, the Gulf County TDC created the Tourism EXPO and Customer Service Training event, with support from the Gulf Coast Workforce Board, to help local tourism operators better understand and promote Gulf County’s unique assets.
With growing awareness as a family-friendly vacation alternative to the busier beaches to its west, the primary purpose of the event was to educate local businesses, reservationists and staff members about what there is to do in the area and what to say when they get the, "So, what is there to do around there?" question.
Additionally, the workshop had a pre-season viewing of the 2011 TDC marketing campaign and an entertaining presentation on phone etiquette and customer service tips by Lori Lupino of Gulf Coast College. The first-of-its-kind event drew over 150 participants and was held in the Centennial Building before the start of the 2011 spring season.
Also presented to Gulf County at the Governor’s Conference was a Silver Flagler Award in the category of promotional materials for their “Guide to Discovering Gulf County & Old Florida.” The Guide is the ultimate resource for tourists visiting Gulf County with 68 pages of outstanding photography, events, business listings and maps. Florida Welcome Center and Panama City Airport officials had reported the brochure to be one of their most popular with difficulty keeping the racks full.
Flagler Awards were presented in 17 categories with the majority of them going to The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, Visit Orlando and The Florida Keys & Key West. Visit South Walton received two Silver and two Bronze Flagler. Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau received a single Bronze Flagler.
Named for Henry Flagler, the Flagler Awards were established in 2000 to recognize outstanding tourism marketing and the individuals and organizations that help position Florida as the top travel destination in the world. Working independently, a panel of five judges evaluated the creativity, innovation, production quality and effectiveness of each entry. Based on the judges’ cumulative scores, awards are presented to the top three entries in each category: the Bronze Award for the third highest scoring entry, the Silver Award for the second highest scoring entry, and for the highest scoring entry in each category, the Henry Award. More information and a complete list of winners is available at http://www.visitfloridablog.org/?p=4765.
Jenkins accepted the awards during the Conference along with the Kerigan Marketing team.
Kerigan Marketing Associates, Inc., of Port St. Joe, completed each of Gulf County TDC’s winning entries while serving as agency of record.