The Mountain Lakes Tourist Association named 27 individuals "North Alabama Elite Tourism Professionals."
Three from Marshall County received that designation:
- Shonda Wall, Wyndham Garden
- Mike Jeffreys, Lake Guntersville State Park
- John Davis Rollings, Marshall County CVB
The designation acknowledges the individuals for "outstanding customer service and hospitality" in the 16-county north Alabama region. The awards were part of the Tourist Association's recognition of National Travel and Tourism Week.
May is National Tourism Month, and the North Alabama Elite Tourism Professional recognition is part of the celebration.
National Tourism Week was created by Congress in 1983 to underscore the economic power of travel in the U.S.
“The travel and tourism industry is comprised of a diverse group of hardworking individuals. Whether these award recipients are employed in hospitality, entertainment, lodging or food and beverage, they repeatedly rise to the occasion in creating joy and memorable experiences for North Alabama’s visitors,” said AMLA President and CEO Tami Reist. “Because of these individuals, the spirit of travel will not be shattered and with their leadership and commitment, the travel and tourism industry will be integral to our nation’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.”
Travel generated $16.8 billion for Alabama’s economy in 2019 and these visitors support over 208,000 American jobs, the Tourist Association said. In north Alabama, the travel industry generated $3.2 billion in tourist expenditures and over 35,000 jobs are supported by travel and tourism. In 2019, more than $1 billion of state and local tax revenues were generated by travel and tourism activities.