June 15, 2023
Contact: Lauren Rogers
Marketing and Communication Manager, Tulsa Regional Tourism
Northeast Oklahoma Honored at Oklahoma Travel Industry Association RedBud Awards
Tulsa Regional Tourism, Visit Bartlesville, Visit Claremore & Gathering Place Among Awardees
Tulsa, Okla. – Numerous northeast Oklahoma destination marketing organizations and attractions took home honors from the annual Oklahoma Travel Industry Association (OTIA) RedBud Awards June 13, 2023. RedBud Award winners include Tulsa Regional Tourism, Tour Tahlequah/Explore Cherokee County, OK, Visit Claremore, Gathering Place, Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism and Visit Bartlesville.
“This has certainly been a fantastic year for tourism in Oklahoma, and it’s no secret that northeast Oklahoma has received a lot of recognition as a tourism destination these past few months,” said James Leewright, Chief Executive Officer of OTIA. “From Sapulpa Main Street garnering national coverage during the holidays, to Tulsa’s biggest year in their tourism history, we’re excited to celebrate these incredible wins and look forward to bringing even more attention to our state as the momentum continues.”
Merit Award winners include Muskogee Tourism Authority, Philbrook Museum of Art, Visit Bartlesville, Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism, Guthrie Green, Tour Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism, Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce, Visit Claremore and Sapulpa Main Street.
“We are thrilled to see the hard work of our partners in the region receive such recognition on a state level,” said Renee McKenney, senior vice president of tourism for the Tulsa Regional Chamber and president of Tulsa Regional Tourism. “Of course, our team is excited to be named Tourism Organization of the Year in the Large Budget category, but we’re beyond proud to see recognition for the achievements that took place across all of northeast Oklahoma this past year.”
The RedBud Awards Ceremony is an annual event recognizing Oklahoma tourism attractions, destination marketing organizations and journalists for their outstanding efforts to serve and promote Oklahoma's tourism industry.
“Tourism is the third-largest industry in the state of Oklahoma, and the Tulsa Regional Chamber is proud to have an amazing team working tirelessly every day to grow that industry in our region,” said Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber. “Considering the Tulsa Sports Commission division of Tulsa Regional Tourism was just named Sports Commission of the Year by Sports ETA, and now our tourism team has been selected as Tourism Organization of the Year, it’s no question that our region is becoming a household name as a travel destination.”
Find the full list of RedBud Award and Merit Award winners below. Learn more about the RedBud Awards at otia.info.
2023 RedBud Winners:
Outstanding Agritourism Attraction
RedBud: Creation Safari Wildlife Park
Best Social Media Campaign
Merit: Visit Stillwater– Stillwater Visitor Tax - Vote Yes!
RedBud: Visit Norman – Redbud Boomer and Sooner Social Media Campaign
Best Brochure or Publication - ($10,000 or Less Budget)
Merit: Muskogee Tourism Authority – Holiday Rack Cards
RedBud: Visit Edmond – 2022 Visit Edmond Destination Guide
Best Brochure or Publication - ($10,000 or More Budget)
Merit: Philbrook Museum of Art– & "The Big Show" Member Mailer
RedBud: Tulsa Regional Tourism – Visit Tulsa Visitor Guide
Best Overall Marketing Campaign – (Small Budget Organization)
Merit: Visit Bartlesville
RedBud: Tour Tahlequah/Explore Cherokee County, OK – Two (or Three) Wheels Are Better than Four on the Winding Scenic Roads of Tahlequah
Best Overall Marketing Campaign – (Large Budget Organization)
Merit: Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism – Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism
RedBud: Visit Claremore – Visit Claremore...Clearly More
Best Website Small Budget
Merit: Edmond Cycle 66
RedBud: Dancing Rabbit Music Association
Best Website Large Budget
Merit: Guthrie Green
RedBud: Visit Oklahoma City
Merit: Tour Tahlequah & Green Country Spyder Jamboree
RedBud: Gathering Place – Explore & Imagine at Gathering Place
Outstanding Media Coverage
Merit: Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism: We Are Cherokee: Cherokee Freedmen and the Right to Citizenship and the History Project
RedBud: Visit Chickasha: Chickasha Leg Lamp
Merit: Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce – Ben Johnson Cowboy Museum
RedBud: Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism – Cherokee Nation History Museum
Outstanding New Attraction
Merit: Visit Chickasha – Chickasha Leg Lamp
RedBud: Ponca City Main Street – Ice on the Plaza
RedBud: The Anchor Activity Park
Outstanding Temporary Exhibit
Merit: Edmond History Museum - America's Musical Ambassadors: Kyle Dillingham & Horseshoe Road
RedBud: Gathering Place - National Geographic Photo Ark
Merit: Visit Claremore - Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo
RedBud: Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism - SkasdiCon
Outstanding New Event
Merit: Sapulpa Main Street – Sapulpa Route 66 Christmas Chute
RedBud: Dancing Rabbit Music Association - Dancing Rabbit Music Festival 2022
Tourism Organization of the Year – Small Budget Organization
RedBud: Visit Bartlesville
Tourism Organization of the Year – Large Budget Organization
RedBud: Tulsa Regional Tourism
About Tulsa Regional Tourism
Tulsa Regional Tourism is northeast Oklahoma’s premier accredited destination marketing organization. Housed at the Tulsa Regional Chamber, it includes Visit Tulsa for leisure travel, Tulsa Convention & Visitors Bureau for meetings & conventions, Tulsa Sports Commission for amateur & pro sports and the Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts & Culture (FMAC) for creative industries and accredited film commission. Tulsa Regional Tourism leads the community’s bidding for and hosting of signature events like the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, the Big 12 Wrestling Championship, USA BMX Grand Nationals, the Arabian Horse Association’s U.S. Nationals and more. For more information, visit visittulsa.com.
About the Tulsa Regional Chamber
Representing 2,000 member organizations and more than 170,000 workers, the Tulsa Regional Chamber is the primary driver of regional and individual prosperity in northeast Oklahoma. The Chamber develops and delivers a wide variety of programs and services designed to bolster and benefit Tulsa-area businesses of all shapes and sizes, from large corporations to small startups. For more than 115 years, the Chamber has served as an integral part of what makes the Tulsa region a great place to live, work and play. As epitomized by the Chamber tagline – “Your Partner in Prosperity” – every strategy, program and service of the Chamber is created specifically to increase prosperity.
The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) named the Tulsa Regional Chamber the nation’s best chamber in 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2020. The Chamber has been recognized three times by the Oklahoma Quality Foundation (OQF), including receipt of OQF’s Award for Commitment to Excellence in 2019. The Chamber holds three prestigious accreditations: five-star accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; accredited economic development organization through the International Economic Development Council (IEDC); and accredited destination marketing organization (Visit Tulsa) through Destinations International (DI). The Chamber also houses the Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts & Culture (Tulsa FMAC), Oklahoma’s only accredited city film commission through the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI).
For more information, visit tulsachamber.com.
About the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association
Founded in 1987, the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association (OTIA) was formed primarily to provide tourism education and lobby on behalf of the tourism industry as well as support the efforts of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department in its funding of the State's tourism promotion campaign. In 1992, OTIA developed an alliance with the Oklahoma Restaurant Association and Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association to provide administrative services and support membership education initiatives statewide.