Oklahoma City, OK- The Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau (OKCCVB) celebrated this year’s National Travel and Tourism Week with an event at TopGolf Oklahoma City on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 honoring several Oklahoman’s and organizations in their eighth annual Hometown Heroes Awards.

The Hometown Heroes Awards are presented each year during National Travel & Tourism Week and honor individuals and organizations that have made a significant impact on Oklahoma City’s tourism and hospitality industry.  OKCCVB PresidentMike Carrier shared his thoughts on the importance of the tourism industry in Oklahoma City, its successes and the achievements made by others in the community at the afternoon celebration.  

During the program eight tourism awards were bestowed upon individuals and organizations that have exceedingly supported and promoted Oklahoma City tourism and travel.  Awards were presented to the following: 

• deadCenter Film Festival

• Downtown OKC, Inc.

• National Convention Manager of Philadelphia Church of God, Jason Cocomise

• Community Director of Yelp.com, Julie Porter Scott

• Project Coordinator with Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, Shari Goad

• Oklahoma Wind Volleyball Tournament Director, Larry Taylor

• Director of Programming for OKC Tennis Center, Steve Henry

• Science Museum Oklahoma

Additionally, each year during the Hometown Heroes awards a Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) is selected as the “CTA Star of the Year” as part of a national program in each community.   The CTA Star is acknowledged by their excellence in hospitality and customer service and one who demonstrates knowledge of local attractions and venues, stays current on local events and shows a commitment to the CTA program.  This year, the CTA Star is Judith Hilbun, Independent Tour Operator with Village Tours. 

“We’re all very proud of the people and organizations selected to receive a Hometown Hero award this year as well as the CTA Star award, said President Mike Carrier.  “It takes more than the CVB to promote tourism in Oklahoma City and these individuals have gone above and beyond to promote this community as a world-class visitor destination. Being able to celebrate them is just a small way we can thank them for their continued belief in our city.”

On a national level, travel and tourism is the third largest industry in America.  Travel is a $2.3 trillion industry in the U.S., with $990.3 billion in direct travel-related spending in the U.S. by domestic and international visitors in 2016. These visitors support 15.3 million American jobs—roughly 8.6 million direct travel jobs, and 6.7 million indirect and induced jobs. Travel-related spending generated $157.8 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues in 2016. The most recent study of state revenues for domestic travel show direct spending in Oklahoma in 2014 of $8.9 Billion. 

For more information on the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau or the Certified Tourism Ambassador program, visit www.visitokc.com. Or for information on National Travel and Tourism Week visit www.ustravel.org.





About the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is a division of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. The CVB is the tourism information source for visitors to and the citizens of Oklahoma City. As the City’s official destination marketing organization, the mission of the CVB is to contribute to the economic well-being of Oklahoma City and its citizens through the solicitation and servicing of conventions and other related group business, to promote the city as a first-class visitor destination, and to enhance Oklahoma City's name and image.