LIBERTY, NY — Roberta Byron-Lockwood and the Sullivan Catskill s Visitors Association were honored by their peers on May 6 taking home three 2021 New York State Tourism Excellence Awards.
Destination marketing organizations, museums, attractions, and other tourism-related businesses gathered virtually to honor the work done in crisis conditions during the 2020 pandemic year.
Byron-Lockwood, President/CEO of the Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association, was honored with the Excellence in Leadership: Career Achievement.
"Roberta has dedicated her professional life to tourism and promotion and the majority of that has been to the great benefit of Sullivan County. Her passion, persistence, and true dedication make her the ideal candidate to be bestowed this Excellence in Tourism Leadership award," Sims Foster, chairman of the SCVA Board, said.
Paul Carlucci, vice-chair of the SCVA Board said, “Congratulations to Roberta Lockwood on receiving the Excellence in Tourism Leadership Award from the NYS Tourism Industry Association. It is gratifying to be validated by this prestigious tourism association in knowing what we in the Sullivan Catskills have known for so long, that Roberta is the best at what she does! We are lucky to have her leading the travel and tourism efforts in the Sullivan Catskills and look forward to her doing so for many more years to come.”
This year, the Sullivan Catskills was honored with two additional awards. “Catskill Confidence” campaign for Excellence in Overall Tourism Marketing and the “Dove Trail” for Excellence in Tourism Marketing: Niche Marketing. During a year of unprecedented challenges, it is gratifying to be recognized for the branding and marketing strategies that the SCVA has implemented.
COVID-19 presented a disproportionate challenge to the tourism industry. Tourism-related or dependent businesses were among the most adversely affected due to COVID regulations and restrictions. Large meetings and events were canceled, and many venues were closed or subject to severe capacity restrictions. Tourism industry professionals redirected their efforts in new directions, supporting local residents and sustaining local businesses while rising to the occasion to meet unprecedented health-related guidelines and special needs for travelers.
The New York State Tourism Excellence Awards are juried by an impartial panel of industry experts under the auspices of the New York State Tourism Industry Association. Nominations were up 250% vs 2019 and the judges were challenged by both the volume and the caliber of the entries.
“Working collaboratively in New York State’s tourism community enables you to network with some of the best minds, most experienced individuals, and trendsetting thought leaders in the global tourism industry,” said Bob Provost, president of the New York State Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA). “The individuals, campaigns, initiatives, and projects being honored are world-class. I am humbled by their achievements and service to their communities in 2020.”