Oklahoma City, OK- The Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau (OKCCVB) celebrated this year’s National Travel and Tourism Week with an event at the Myriad Garden’s on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 honoring several Oklahoman’s and organizations in their 10th 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 President Mike 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, nine 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:

  • COOP Ale Works
  • Ryan and Ashley Fogle, Ride OKC
  • Jeff Erwin, Coury Hospitality
  • Hassan Daneshmand, Italian Express
  • Jim Abbott, Oklahoma City University
  • Carl Mize, Central Oklahoma Wrestling Association
  • Greg Horton, freelance writer
  • Kelli Payne, Oklahoma National Stockyards Company
  • Tyler Norveli, Oklahoma Youth Expo

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 awards Jim and Ruth Ford, Registrars for the CVB. Jim and Ruth have served the CVB for more than 12 years, working numerous events and conventions.

“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 and organizations 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 continues to be one of America’s largest industries and employers. One out of every nine jobs in the U.S. depends on the travel and tourism industry, generating more than $200 billion in payroll. Oklahoma County continues to be number one in the state for revenue produced from domestic travel, totaling $2.21 billion in 2016.

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.