Tourism awards handed out by chamber

Published 12:20 am Thursday, May 22, 2008

NATCHEZ — So many of the people who impact tourism, some of them working behind the scenes, never get recognized for their valuable contributions to the tourism industry that Natchez thrives on.

But this was not the case Thursday, May 15 during the Natchez Adams Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours where tourism awards were handed out to key tourism players.

Debbie Hudson, director of the chamber, said this annual event is an important part of tourism appreciation.

Email newsletter signup

“People need to be recognized,” she said. “There are so many people who work together from the busboy to the planner, everybody has to make it work.”

Five categories of awards were presented.

First were the Tourism Superstar awards. Those who are ambassadors to the city that do exceptionally well in their tourism-related jobs.

The 2008 tourism superstars are Rose Jones at Dunleith, Bettye Lou Hicks with Natchez Pilgrimage Tours, Janelle Williams with Hampton Inn & Suites, Henry Mayberry at The Briars and Monmouth, Lani Riches at Monmouth, Steve Jones at Dunleith, Elandra Fay Wallace at Dunleith, Charles “Chuck” Borum at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, Babs and Ken Price with the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race and Cliff Brumfield with Pearl Street Pasta.

The Gone But Not Forgotten Award is awarded to those who have passed away but played an instrumental part in the tourism industry.

This award went to Betty Ewald, Robert Martello with Elderhostel, Dawn Taylor and Conway Aubic with Rosalie.

The Mint Julep Award is given to someone who retired from the tourism business within the last year. This year, the award went to Rueben L. Harper.

Property of the Year went to the Poultry House Gift Shop at Dunleith.

The Attraction of the Year Award went to Rosalie and Natchez Little Theater.

Hudson said the event went well and attendance was high.

“The awards were very heartfelt,” she said. “I swear there was not one person that wasn’t just overwhelmed and with that tear in their eye.”