The Jackson County Tourism Development Authority has been named the Tourism Office of the Year by the Southeast Tourism Society at the Shining Example Award Ceremony. This award is one of a dozen Shining Example Awards presented at STS’s annual Connections conference in Daytona Beach, Fla. In addition to the Shining Example Award, STS recently announced that the Jackson County TDA’s Executive Director Nick Breedlove was selected to join its Board of Directors and is one of two people from the state of N.C. to be selected. In addition to serving as a Board Member, Breedlove will also serve on the board’s Education Committee.
“We are thrilled and honored to have been selected for this award and I can’t wait to get started with the STS Board of Directors,” said Breedlove. “Everyone involved at the TDA is extremely passionate about the tourism industry and about Jackson County. We love being able to share this area with visitors from around the country and are overjoyed that STS has recognized our hard work with this award. Additionally, I look forward to contributing to the great work STS is doing while serving on the board.” Jackson County was selected for the award from among a twelve-state region for tourism budgets under $2 million.
Jackson County, located in the scenic Western N.C. mountains, is made up of the charming towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Sylva and Dillsboro. Established in 2013 and made up of just one full-time employee and an extremely supportive board, the JCTDA has worked to implement several new programs and initiatives geared towards showcasing all that the area has to offer and driving tourism. Despite its short history and small size, the JCTDA’s results are expansive and impactful. Visitor spending within the county has increased by a total of $20 million in two years. During 2017 alone, Jackson County experienced an increase in visitor spending of 3.85 percent from the previous year, and these numbers continue to increase each year.
“The TDA has a robust marketing and communications plan and great partners which help make it shine,” Breedlove said. Last year the TDA celebrated a milestone with public relations efforts, reaching over a billion potential viewers of its message since 2013. The TDA has also celebrated recent success in its marketing and communication efforts by building and leveraging research to increase return on investment. “At the end of the day, it’s everyone in the community,” Breedlove said. “From the Chamber and Visitor Centers, which provide unparalleled service and information to our visitors, to our gracious accommodations, restaurants, small businesses and attractions that keep people coming back.”
“It is such an honor to receive this recognition from the Southeast Tourism Society,” said JCTDA Board Chair Ann Self. “This award reflects the hard work and creative endeavors of an entire team dedicated to spotlighting Jackson County. The Jackson County Tourism Development Authority not only has committed community members serving on the Board of Directors, but also the outstanding leadership of Executive Director Nick Breedlove. Receiving this Shining Example Award provides further motivation to continue leading efforts in the travel and tourism industry to benefit our area.”
About Jackson County, NC
Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro, Sylva, Balsam, Cullowhee, Glenville and Sapphire are the distinct locales that make up Western North Carolina’s Jackson County. Each of these Blue Ridge Mountain towns provide natural beauty that invites visitors to experience the North Carolina Mountains. Jackson County is also home to the nation’s first and only fly-fishing trail, The Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail. The majestic mountains harbor miles of hiking trails and waterfalls while charming downtowns are known for shopping, dining, culture, and hometown atmosphere. For more information visit, www.DiscoverJacksonNC.com.
Headquartered in Roswell, Georgia, STS is an association that works to unite all segments of the travel and tourism industry through its four pillars of education, advocacy, recognition, and networking. Established in 1983, STS is an engaged network of 1000+ members from twelve states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. For more information, visit SoutheastTourism.org.