Steuben County's official Tourism Promotion Agency, known as Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes, hosted a special Tourism Excellence Award ceremony on Wednesday, November 16th, at the newly remodeled Glenn H. Curtiss Museum.
"The Tourism Excellence Awards are a way to recognize businesses that not only provide exceptional products and services to their customers," said Jake Buganski, CVB President, "but who take an active role in the CVB's programs to develop and sustain a world-class destination. Tourism is a complex industry, and engaged stakeholders are critical to growing the region's tourism economy. The award winners demonstrated a propensity for embracing industry trends and a spirit of cooperation that enhances the visitor experience."
The ten overall winners—for categories such as Craft Beverage Producer, Accommodations, Events, History and Heritage, Dining, Tourism Ambassador, and more—were determined based on a number of criteria including customer service, visitor experience, and reviews on Yelp and Trip Advisor.
"It's critical," said Melanie Collins, co-owner of Cider Creek Hard Cider, "that small business owners promote the area as a destination and make their businesses world class destinations. We strive to do that daily at Cider Creek Hard Cider."
Radisson Hotel Corning was co-winner for Best Accommodation Partner with Black Sheep Inn and Spa. "It's truly wonderful," said Rachel Potter, Director of Marketing at Radisson Hotel Corning, to see the efforts of our staff being recognized. Thank you to everyone at Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes, we are lucky to live and work in an area that values partnership as much as we do and we look forward to working together in the future!"
The Wineglass Marathon, which celebrated it's 35th year in 2016, won the award for Best Event Partner. "We are blessed to live in such a lovely area that hosts so many great things for runners and their families to do. We have become a top destination marathon and for good reason," added Sheila Sutton, Wineglass Marathon Director. The Corning Museum of Glass won two Tourism Excellence Awards: Best Arts Partner and Partner of the Year. "We value our partnership with Corning & the Southern Finger Lakes to promote our beautiful destination," said Beth Duane, director of marketing and community relations for The Corning Museum of Glass. "Together we welcome visitors from all corners of the globe, and help them discover lots of reasons to love the Finger Lakes."
"This award," stated Andrew Tompkins, Executive Director at Finger Lakes Boating Museum, "belongs to the 150+ volunteers that have worked so diligently to bring the Finger Lakes Boating Museum to life. We thank the committee for their recognition of these efforts."
The 2016 Tourism Excellence Award Winners:
The Corning Museum of Glass - Partner of the Year
Logan Sweet - Ambassador of the Year
Cider Creek Hard Cider - Best Craft Beverage Partner
Radisson Hotel Corning (co-winner) - Best Accommodations Partner
Black Sheep Inn and Spa (co-winner) - Best Accommodations Partner
Wineglass Marathon - Best Events Partner
The Corning Museum of Glass - Best Arts Partner
Keuka Water Taxi - Best Outdoor Recreation Partner
Crooked Creek Hops Farm - Best Agritourism Partner
The Source at Factory No. 2 - Best Dining Partner
Finger Lakes Boating Museum - Best History/Heritage Partner
To learn more about Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes visit, CorningFingerLakes.com.