The Arizona Office of Tourism recognized and honored statewide tourism industry leaders at the 2013 Governor’s Tourism Awards

2013-07-19 — / — The Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT) and members of the Arizona tourism industry recognized and honored statewide tourism industry leaders at the 2013 Governor’s Tourism Awards Gala held during the industry’s annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism.  AOT Director Sherry Henry presented the awards during the event held at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort and Spa, July 11. More than 450 industry representatives attended the event.

Statewide nominations were submitted for the 10 award categories. Winners were selected on general evaluation of qualifications such as exceptional efforts, innovation, uniqueness and measurable results. The judging committee was comprised of a selection of tourism industry representatives and AOT staff.

“Tonight we recognize and honor statewide organizations or individuals who have made substantial contributions to the success of our tourism industry. Their outstanding examples of creativity, leadership, commitment and teamwork help define our industry and continue to make the Grand Canyon State the unparalleled travel destination it is today,” stated Sherry Henry, director of AOT, at the awards event.

Awards were presented in the following categories: Cooperative Marketing, Innovative Promotions, Special Events (Rural and Urban), Arizona Preservation, and Green Tourism. AOT also honored individual achievements in the categories of Spirit of Service, Tourism Champion of the Year and Tourism Hall of Fame.

Winners are listed below:

  • Cooperative Marketing  –  Moenkopi Developers, Hopi Arts Trail
  • Innovative Promotions  – Rural – Yuma 101, Yuma Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Innovative Promotions  – Urban–  Uniquely Tucson, Visit Tucson
  • Arizona Preservation  – Arizona Experience, Arizona Geological Survey
  • Green Tourism  – Be Greener Program, The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
  • Special Events  – Run to the Pines Carshow, Town of Pinetop-Lakeside
  • Spirit of Service – Fermin Estrada, Verde Canyon Railroad
  • Tourism Champion of the Year – Attraction – Bearizona Wildlife Park
  • Tourism Champion of the Year – Doug Yonko, Hensley Beverage Company
  • Tourism Hall of Fame – Ginger Dude, Tempe Tourism Office

For a complete list of past winners, visit