John Cooper, President & CEO of Yakima Valley Tourism, was presented the 2014 Tourism Concierge of the Year Award by the Washington State Wine Commission in recognition of his service to the wine industry and wine tourism.
Started in 2002 by the Washington Wine Commission, the Washington State Wine Awards acknowledges industry leaders that exhibit strong support of Washington wines and high professional standards in wine service. The Tourism Concierge Award recognizes an individual that represents the tourism or wine industry with the highest professional standards, serves as an example to peers and a mentor for new tourism industry professionals, advances the wine tourism industry as a whole and advocates for its causes.
“I am honored to have been nominated and selected,” Cooper stated. “I give credit to our staff at Yakima Valley Tourism and the wineries in the valley. They also deserve recognition for all they do to advance wine tourism.”
The mission of Yakima Valley Tourism is to stimulate economic development by marketing the Yakima Valley for conventions, groups and leisure travel. Cooper has been with organization since 2007.
The agency responsible for developing and marketing tourism for the Yakima Valley will be doing business under a new name. Effective today, the Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau will be doing business as Yakima Valley Tourism. The change resulted from a board retreat last year as the organization made future plans for tourism in the region.
Yakima Valley Tourism made the announcement today at the Yakima Convention Center where it presented updates and issues facing the local, state and national tourism industries to the public.
“The new name is easier to remember, better reflects our mission and coincides with the launch of our six-year strategic plan,” stated John Cooper, President & CEO. “Our organization is responsible for all facets of tourism including conventions and groups, visitor services, sports and leisure travel. Tourism is an inclusive word for all sectors of the industry.”
The main website to promote Yakima Valley will be www.yakimavalleytourism.com
Yakima Valley Tourism is a non-profit trade association. It has been known as Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau since forming in 1957.
Reprinted from Travel and Tourism Today by permission:
It’s a new year, time to make travel plans! Let’s hit the road and make that big sale or lure new clients. Maybe attend a conference to learn new skills or build contacts. Journey to an exotic locale or just head out for a weekend getaway. Whatever reason you take to the road, seas or skies, travel offers lots of benefits that are well documented.
Need some proof? The folks at the U.S. Travel Association and their partners have developed a website aptly named Travel Effect. Based on research, the site shares many ways our economy, work and personal lives benefit from travel. Here are a few examples:
Personal benefits of travel:
- Travel is beneficial to the aging process. Women who vacation every six years or less have a significantly higher risk of developing a heart attack or coronary death compared to women who vacation at least twice a year. Men who do not take an annual vacation have a 30% greater risk of death from heart disease.
- Travel is good for families. In a survey of youth ages 8-18 they strongly agreed that on family trips they get to “see and do new things that I’ll remember for a long time” (64%) and that some of their “best memories are of things that I did during a family vacation” (49%).
- Travel builds relationships. According to a USTA survey, “couples who travel together are significantly more satisfied with their relationship than couples who do not.” For example, 84% of the respondents who travel as a couple believe that they spend quality time together, compared to only 70% of respondents who do not.
Professional benefits of travel: A detailed study conducted by the Oxford Economics U.S.A. documented the value of business travel, including:
Economic value of travel: The travel and tourism industry adds much to our national economy:
- Domestic and international travelers spent $855 billion in 2012.
- 7.7 million people were directly employed in the travel and tourism industry with an annual payroll of $200 billion in 2012.
- Travelers generated $128 billion in local, state and federal taxes in 2012.
- Each U.S. household would pay $1,060 more in taxes without the taxes the tourism industry creates.
Travel also serves a greater purpose. It connects people from around the world, potentially building a better understanding of different cultures, traditions and lifestyles. As the International Institute for Peace through Tourism proclaims, “Every traveler is potentially an ambassador for peace.” That alone makes travel worthwhile.