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SASI-ONE 2013 Award Winners Honored at ONE Travel Conference for Shopping, Dining & Cultural Tourism

A total of 23 SASI-ONE Awards  (SASI = Shop America Salutes Innovation) for shopping and cultural tourism marketing excellence were presented at the annual SASI-ONE Awards Breakfast on Thursday, January 30 during the ONE Travel Conference at the Radisson Blu Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. The awards are sponsored by CenterCal Properties in partnership with Shop America Alliance and the U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council.  Brandace Bruning, Vice President, CenterCal Properties, serves as the SASI-ONE Awards Chairperson.

SASI-ONE Awards recognize prominent leaders in the tourism industry for their vision and commitment to developing shopping and cultural tourism.  Along with the 7 SASI-ONE Gold Awards and 12 SASI-ONE Merit Awards for shopping and cultural tourism marketing excellence, 4 SASI-ONE Special Award Recipients were honored in the categories of Shop America Tour Operator of the Year, TravMedia Tourism Journalist of the Year, Cultural & Heritage Tourism Destination of the Year and the Chairman’s Choice Award.  The achievements of SASI-ONE Winners from throughout the USA, Mexico and Latin America and the winners of the special awards were showcased in a video presentation that can be viewed at ONEtravelconference.com.

A prestigious panel of judges coordinated by the Bloomington MN Convention and Visitors Bureau selected the 7 SASI-ONE GOLD WINNERS and 12 SASI-ONE Merit award winners.  The judges were Jan Kroells, Bloomington MN Convention & Visitors Bureau; Lauren Himle, Mall of America; Lana Sloan, Explore Minnesota Tourism; Bill Von Bank, Minnesota Zoo; Joel Schettler, Greenspring Media Group and Bill Deef, Meet Minneapolis.

The Mark Travel Corporation was honored as the Shop America Tour Operator of the Year. Caterina Westfahl accepted the award.  Mark Travel and its vacation companies are actively engaged in marketing Shop America Tours and promoting Shop America VIP offers.  Mark International has co-sponsored the annual Shop America IPW Reception, "IPW's Most Fashionable Event" for the past decade.

The Mark Travel Corporation is a global organization and recognized leader in the business of making vacation dreams come true. With service to more than 1,100 destinations worldwide, Mark Travel and its vacation companies provide value, superb care and complete End-to-End service. Mark Travel's focus is on providing customers with the ultimate vacation experience including special Shopping, Dining and Cultural packages. High profile vacation companies owned, managed, or affiliated with The Mark Travel Corporation include: Blue Sky Tours in Hawaii, Brand G. Vacations, Funjet Vacations, Funway Holidays International - UK, Mark International, MGM Resorts Vacations, My Destination Wellness, United Vacations and Southwest Airlines Vacations.

 “Shop America salutes Mark International and all its partners for their leadership in the travel industry and congratulates them on receiving this well deserved award.  Shop America Alliance has been very fortunate to have partnered with Mark Travel for over 15 years and sincerely value their leadership and commitment to excellent customer service,” said Rosemary McCormick, President of Shop America Alliance, who presented the award.

The TravMedia Tourism Journalist of the Year honoree was Johnny Jet, a US-based travel writer and Editor-in-Chief of Johnny.Jet.com, a leading travel information website.    He has been featured over 3,000 times in major publications, including USA Today, Time, Fortune and The New York Time and has appeared on countless television networks and radio shows. Jet travels around 150,000 miles and visits 20 countries each year, writing about his travel experiences from around the world including his informative free weekly travel newsletter and sharing his perspective with his Twitter/Facebook/Instagram followers. TravMedia, an international news distribution service company, sponsors the tourism journalist award.  Dominka Dryjski, Global Communications Director of TravMedia presented the award on behalf of the organization.

The Henry Ford of Dearborn, Michigan was honored as the Cultural & Heritage Tourism Destination of the Year in recognition of its leadership, marketing creativity and dedication to promoting cultural and heritage tourism.  “The Henry Ford is a national history destination with an incomparable collection documenting the American Experience. Known as “America’s Greatest History Attraction” it is a National Historic Landmark that markets itself as “a place where authentic American people, places and things captivate and inspire visitors of all ages” said Richard Peterson, Director of Travel Industry Sales for the California Academy of Sciences and recipient of the 2010 award.  Peterson presented the award to Carol Kendra, Chief Communications Officer for The Henry Ford. The U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council sponsors this prestigious award.

British Airways received the Chairman’s Choice Award for its digital billboards that change when planes fly overhead.  Brandace Bruning of CenterCal Properties and SASI-ONE Awards Chairperson selected this marketing program to be recognized. Bruning said, “This advertising campaign is an excellent illustration of innovative out-of-the-box creativity incorporating the latest digital technology.”

The SASI-ONE Awards are awarded annually at the ONE Travel Conference.  To view the video award presentation of the 2013 SASI-ONE Awards and or information about applying for the 2014 Awards, visit ONETravelConference.com or call 843.341.6392.

SASI-ONE 2013 GOLD Award Winners:

Category:  Cultural  & Heritage Organization

Experience the Low Country
Coastal Discovery Museum
Honoree: Natalie Hefter, Vice President of Programs, Coastal Discovery Museum

Category:  Travel Partner

Hooray for Shopping Tourism
TaxFree Shopping Ltd in Texas
Honoree:  Carolyn T. Petty, President, TaxFree Shopping Ltd.

Category:  Destination Management Organization

US Airways 2013 Las Vegas Scavenger Hunt
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
Honoree:  Art Jimenez, Sr. Director of Sales, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors

Bookit.com Booking Incentive
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
Honoree:  Art Jimenez, Sr. Director of Sales, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter Shop Las Vegas Contest
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
Honorees:  Art Jimenez, Sr. Director of Sales, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Rosemary McCormick, President, Shop America Alliance

Bloomington Pick Your Pack Sweepstakes
Bloomington MN Convention and Visitors Bureau, Destination Bloomington
Honoree:  Jan Kroells, Vice President of Marketing, Bloomington Convention & Visitors Bureau

Category:  Single Shopping Center Location

Madison Avenue Watch Week
Madison Avenue Business Improvement District
Honorees:  Matthew Bauer, PHD, President, Madison Avenue Business Improvement District, The Wall Street Journal, Media Sponsor, Hodinkee 7 Shang, Event Partners

SASI-ONE 2013 MERIT Award Winners:

Category:  Single Shopping Center Location

Introduction of Unique Neighborhood Outlet Shopping to the Trade
The Outlets of Assembly Row
Honorees:  Carolyn J. Feimster, Travel & Tourism Manager, Andrew Simpson, Director of Marketing, Sarah Campbell, Marketing Coordinator, Outlets of Assembly Row

Category:  Destination Management Organization

Southwest Vacations March-April 2013 Booking Incentive
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
Honoree:  Art Jimenez, Sr. Director of Sales, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

MLT Vacations Summer Sizzle
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
Honoree:  Art Jimenez, Sr. Director of Sales, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

GOGO Worldwide Vacations Las Vegas Sales Promotion
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
Honoree:  Art Jimenez, Sr. Director of Sales, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

Category:  Travel Partner

Wellness Travel Journal
Wellness Tourism Worldwide
Honoree:  Camille Hoheb, Founder, Wellness Tourism Worldwide

The Guide to Selling Wellness Travel
Wellness Tourism Worldwide
Honoree:  Camille Hoheb, Founder, Wellness Tourism Worldwide

Top 10 Wellness Travel Trends of 2013
Wellness Tourism Worldwide
Honoree:  Camille Hoheb, Founder, Wellness Tourism Worldwide

U.S. Vacationers:  Health, Happiness & Productivity—
The Essential Report for Travel, Hospitality & Wellness Industries
Wellness Tourism Worldwide
Honorees:  Camille Hoheb, Founder, Wellness Tourism Worldwide

The Shop & Dine Report
Mandala Research
Honoree:  Laura Mandala, Managing Director, Mandala Research

Vogue Travel And Shops Guide 2013/2014
Conde Nast Mexico/Latinoamerica
Honoree:  Virginia Nunez, Creative Director, Conde Nast Mexico/Latin America

Category:  Cultural & Heritage Organizations

“From Culture to Cuisine” – A Unique “Behind-the-Scenes” Visit
to New York City
Museum of the City of New York
Honorees:  Carolyn J. Feimster Travel & Tourism Manager, Michael Lonergan,
Gotham Tix, Jerry Gallagher, COO of the Museum of the City of New York


The History List – Make This Holiday Historic
The History List
Honoree:  Lee Wright, Founder, The History List

SASI-ONE 2013 Special Awards:

Chairman’s Choice Award
British Airways’ Digital Billboards

Shop America Tour Operator of the Year
The Mark Travel Corporation

TravMedia Tourism Journalist of the Year
Johnny Jet, johnnyjet.com

Cultural Heritage Destination of the Year
The Henry Ford, Dearborn, Michigan

ONE Travel Conference for Shopping, Dining and Cultural & Heritage Tourism is produced annually by Shop America Alliance and the U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council. The Conference brings together leaders in the travel industry to focus on The Power of Partnership, speaking with ONE Voice. The 2015 ONE Travel Conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency, Tysons Corner Center in Fairfax, Virginia, January 19-21, 2015. For more information visit ONETravelConference.com or call 843.341.6392.

Shop America Alliance is the travel trade organization representing hundreds of the premier shopping tourism destinations, retailers, shopping centers, museum stores and outlets in North America. Founded in 1998, Shop America Alliance co-produces the annual ONE Travel Conference and SASI-ONE Awards and The Cultural Traveler guidebook, publishes Shop America Magazine and markets more than 175 shopping tours in 40 cities.  For more information, visit shopamericatours.com or call 707.224.3795.

US Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council (USCHT) is the travel trade association with a mission to market U.S. cultural and heritage tourism experiences. USCHT represents leading U.S. tourism destinations, attractions and travel partners engaged in marketing U.S. cultural and heritage to travelers throughout the United States and around the world, co-produces the annual ONE Travel Conference and SASI-ONE Awards and The Cultural Traveler guidebook and sponsors market research on the Cultural and Heritage Traveler. For more information, visit USCHT.com and TheCulturalTraveler.com  or call 843.341.6392.

© 2014 Shop America Alliance.
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