The tourism staff representing the counties of the Clarks Hill Partnership of Georgia have received the Partner Agency Tourism Champion Award.
The award was presented by Gov. Sonny Perdue on Friday at the Governor's Brunch and Awards Ceremony at the Governor's Tourism Conference in Albany, Ga.
The Clarks Hill Partnership of Georgia represents Columbia, McDuffie, Lincoln, Warren and Wilkes counties. It was recognized in part for using a 2007-08 Georgia Department of Economic Development Tourism Foundation Co-op Marketing Grant for the 2007 Bassmaster Weekend Series National Championship held at Wildwood Park in Appling in November.
The award also recognizes other projects managed by the group, including:
- Development of a partnership banner stand display and brochure (co-op with the Classic South Travel Association);
- Sponsorship of 30-minute fishing show, BassEdge, that appeared on Versus Network in January;
- A booth at the Bassmaster Classic Championship in February;
- Sharing a boat wrap and jersey with angler partner J. Todd Tucker;
- A booth at the FLW Cup Championship and Expo in August;
- Establishing the potential for marketing the partner counties for "hub and spoke" group travel.
The tourism team for the partnership that accepted the award on its behalf included Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Beda Johnson and Thomson-McDuffie County Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Elizabeth Vance.
"This recognition from the governor and our tourism peers shows how essential it is that we continue to pool our resources and work together to represent our region at a national level," Johnson said. "We're thrilled to be able to bring this award back to the leadership of the now 'award-winning' Clarks Hill Partnership of Georgia."
The partnership was created by former state Sen. Jim Whitehead, whose legislative district included each of the counties in the partnership. The group meets quarterly, and the voting members are the county administrators, county commissioners and community mayors.
In 2006, Partnership Tourism Team members began attending the meetings to work together to cooperatively market the area.
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