Sault Ste. Marie, ON (November 23, 2018) – Tourism Sault Ste. Marie honoured the industry’s best and brightest yesterday at its 16th annual awards night. The event recognized individuals, organizations and businesses for going above and beyond to welcome visitors and reinforce the community’s tourist-friendly reputation. With the ceremony held at Quattro Hotel & Conference Centre, the 2018 award winners are:
Tourism Award of Excellence: Ian McMillan
For 17 years, Ian was the Executive Director of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie. He retired this past summer. During his career, he led a number of visitor-attraction initiatives. From Group of Seven product development and the Agawa Canyon Tour Train revitalization project, to attracting cruise ships and securing major events, his legacy is far reaching.
Tourism Ambassador Award: Searchmont Ski Association Inc.
This non-profit organization stepped up to the plate to help preserve a vital community asset. For more than a decade, the association operated Searchmont Resort. Thanks to this group of volunteers, the ski hill has grown into a sustainable tourism product, which allowed the resort to be sold earlier this month.
Tourism Business of the Year Award: Agawa Crafts & Canadian Carver
Located north of Sault Ste. Marie at Pancake Bay, this specialty retail outlet, service station and camper’s store became a staple destination for travellers along the Trans-Canada Highway. After five decades of operating the business, owners Gerald and June Demers recently retired.
Customer Service Award: Kyle McGinnis
As a Front Desk Associate for Quality Inn & Suites Bay Front, Kyle is described by colleagues and customers as “dynamic” and “a true team player.” With his warm demeanour, he makes visitors feel welcomed and appreciated by demonstrating the highest standard of customer service with guests.
Tourism Event of the Year Award (new category): North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Association Conference
This event attracted more than 480 game wardens, conservation officers and other law enforcement officials from across Canada and the United States. With many delegates also bringing their family members, this seven-day conference generated over $750,000 in direct visitor spending for the local economy.
“With a number of major events held here, solid visitation numbers at area attractions and a record-setting season for cruise ship traffic, it has been a great year for the local tourism industry,” said Jennifer King-Callon, Manager of Meetings & Conventions for Tourism Sault Ste. Marie. “For their role in this success, I thank the 2018 Tourism Award winners, along with all the nominees, for everything they’ve done and continue to do to drive tourism development in our community.”
Tourism Sault Ste. Marie is a division of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation. For more information, visit http://www.sault-canada.com.