Shawnee Hills Wine Trail Wins Tourism Award

CHICAGO, Ill. (KFVS) – An awards ceremony honoring tourism leaders in Illinois has included special recognition for how communities have responded throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

The new Silver Lining Stories initiative awards were announced on Monday, December 6 at the 2021 Illinois Governor’s Travel and Tourism Conference at Navy Pier in Chicago.

The winners were selected by their industry peers who voted on the Illinois Governor’s Tourism Conference Facebook page.

Shawnee Hills Wine Trial was one of four Silver Lining Stories winners.

The wine route won the “Best Pivot” award.

The award highlights the company or individual who changed their business model during the pandemic and who innovated as a result.

Southernmost Illinois Tourism nominated Shawnee Hills Wine Trial for the award.

The other three Silver Lining Stories winners were:

  • Better support for essential workers – Front Line Project, proposed by Visit McHenry County. The award is given to organizations, individuals or businesses that have stood up for essential workers and helped improve their lives.
  • Most committed community partner – Vine Street Market, farmer’s market at O’Fallon Station, nominated by ILLINOISouth Tourism. The award is presented to an individual, business or organization that has supported their community in multiple ways over a period of time.
  • The most innovative pandemic start-up – Takeout 25, nominated by Visit Oak Park. The award is given to a travel / tourism business that was successfully launched during COVID and has created a sustainable business.

“Kudos to the small businesses and community groups who were nominated for the Silver Lining stories,” said Sylvia I. Garcia, acting director of the Illinois Department of Trade and Economic Opportunities (DCEO). “Their stories highlight the ingenuity, resilience and ingenuity we saw in the tourism industry and across Illinois as people pivoted to help each other and be of service to their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. ”

The Illinois Excellence in Tourism Awards were also given to the state’s most innovative tourism marketing initiatives by the Convention and Tourism Bureaus (CVBs), ahead of the pandemic.

Each submission was judged in eight categories for Budget A organizations and Budget B organizations. Budget A organizations have an annual operating budget of $ 500,000 or more and Budget B organizations have budgets under 500. $ 000.

Here are the winners of the Illinois Tourism Excellence Awards:

Better niche targeting

  • Budget A – Heritage Corridor CVB, 2019 Heritage Corridor Ale Trail
  • Budget B – Ottawa Visitor Center, Local Food Restaurant Week
  • Budget B – Finding the Lincoln Heritage Coalition, History in Your Garden

Best Social Media Marketing

  • Budget A – Galena CVB, Facebook milestone Galena
  • Budget B – Quincy Area CVB, Concours Best Postcard Pic FB + Inside Guide

Best brand initiative

  • Budget A – Rockford Area CVB, 2019 International Table Tennis Federation North American Olympic Table Tennis Trials
  • Budget B – Elgin Area CVB, Ring Around Elgin
  • Budget B – Galesburg CVB, Experience Galesburg Rebrand

Best cooperative partnership

  • Budget A – Visit Lake County CVB, Visit Lake County – Six Flags Great America and Lincolnshire Marriott Resort
  • Budget B – Sports Illinois, Sports Huddle 2019

Best event or festival

  • Budget A – Illinois Restaurant Association, Chicago Gourmet
  • Budget B – The historical museum of the Joliet region, a night behind bars

Best website

  • Budget A – Choose Chicago, Choose Chicago Website
  • Budget B – Elgin Area CVB, Explore Elgin Website

Better tourism marketing

  • Budget A – The Art Institute of Chicago, Andy Warhol — From A to B and vice versa
  • Budget B – Lakeview Chamber of Commerce, Wrigleyville Wonderland

Best printed warranty

  • Budget A – ILLINOISouth, ILLINOISouth Kids Activity Book Series
  • Budget B – Great Rivers Country, Illinois Antiques

Best international marketing

  • Great Rivers and Roads Tourist Office, Route 66

Best PR Campaign

  • Navy Pier, Chicago Beach

Best of Show

  • Illinois Restaurant Association

The Illinois governor’s conference on travel and tourism will wrap up on Wednesday, December 8.

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