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Distinguished Dozen 2020

Courier's 2020 Distinguished Dozen

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posted December 2, 2019
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Courier’s Distinguished Dozen program offers NTA tour operators a way to recognize their partners: NTA tour suppliers and destination marketing organizations whose representatives provide a high-quality, high-value product—with great customer service. The gold, silver and bronze winners in each of the 12 categories are listed below.

Theater/Show Venue

Broadway
Photo by Broadway Inbound/The Shubert Organization

Gold

Broadway Inbound/The Shubert Organization (New York City)
“Broadway Inbound is honored to have received this award yet again. We cherish our relationships with NTA operators and know that working together makes us both stronger. From our team to yours, cheers!”
Peter Waugh

Silver

Sight & Sound Theatres (Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Branson, Missouri)
NTA contact: Simi Telesco

Bronze

Derby Dinner Playhouse (Clarksville, Indiana)
NTA contact: Cindy Nevitt


Museum for Groups

National World War II Museum
Photo by The National World War II Museum

Gold

The National World War II Museum (New Orleans)
Offering a compelling blend of sweeping narrative and poignant personal detail, The National World War II Museum in New Orleans features immersive exhibits, multimedia experiences, and an expansive collection of artifacts and first-person oral histories that take visitors inside the story of the war that changed the world.
NTA contact: Lisa Ochomogo

Silver

Boeing Future of Flight (Mukilteo, Washington)
NTA contact: Jody Hawkins

Bronze

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum (Boston)
NTA contact: Ian Shepherd


International DMO Partner

Switzerland
Photo by Switzerland Tourism

Gold

Switzerland Tourism
The first international member of NTA, Switzerland Tourism is the national marketing organization of the country. The DMO’s 200-plus employees support tour operators in developing and selling Switzerland as a vacation, travel, or conference destination.
NTA contact: Martin Oester

Silver

VisitBritain
NTA contact: Tara Barnes

Bronze

Jordan Tourism Board
NTA contact: Malia Asfour


North American DMO Partner (State/Province)

Circle Wisconsin
Photo by Circle Wisconsin

Gold

Circle Wisconsin
“Circle Wisconsin has been a staple with NTA tour operators for 30-plus years. Representing group-friendly destinations, attractions, lodging, theaters, casinos, cruises, and much more, Circle Wisconsin is always available with great ideas for exciting and fun experiences for their guests.”
Wendy Dobrzynski

Silver

Visit California
NTA contact: Stephanie DeVries

Bronze

Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism
NTA contact: Annie Moloney


North American DMO Partner (City/Region)

Ottawa
Photo by Justin Van Leeuwen

Gold

Ottawa Tourism
“Our employees are a dedicated group who, together with our passionate members, strive to deliver the complete capital experience, tell the story of Canada, and get people talking about the best of Ottawa to markets across Canada and the world.”
Kelly Dean

Silver

Memphis Tourism
NTA contact: Colleen Palmertree

Bronze

Visit Clarksville
NTA contact: Frances Manzitto


Casino/Gaming Property

Beau Rivage
Photo by beaurivage.com

Gold

Beau Rivage by MGM Resorts International (Biloxi, Mississippi)
An MGM Resorts International Four Diamond destination resort, Beau Rivage features 1,740 deluxe rooms, 11 restaurants, a 1,500-seat theater spotlighting live entertainment (from stand-up headliners to theater extravaganzas), retail shopping, an award-winning spa and salon, a casino, and sports betting.
NTA contact: Linda Spruill

Silver

Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort (Worley, Idaho)
NTA contact: Dee Dee McGowan

Bronze

Foxwoods Resort Casino (Mashantucket, Connecticut)
NTA contact: George Yerger


Corporate Hotel Chain

Hilton
Photo by ©2019 Hilton

Gold

Hilton Worldwide
“We are grateful to be recognized by our industry peers, and we always look forward to welcoming groups. Conrad Hilton’s vision is to fill the Earth with the light and warmth of hospitality by delivering exceptional experiences at every hotel … to every guest … every time.”
Mayumi Florek

Silver

Drury Hotels
NTA contact: Amy Defrancesco

Bronze

Best Western Hotels & Resorts
NTA contact: Michelle Zajac


Individual/Independent or Boutique Hotel Property

Lord Elgin Hotel
Photo by Lord Elgin Hotel

Gold

Lord Elgin Hotel (Ottawa, Ontario)
“We have been working with NTA for more than 50 years—one of the very first from Ottawa to do so. Many of the relationships and partnerships in the tour and travel market we have enjoyed over the decades can be attributed to the countless connections our NTA membership has forged.”
Amber Van Der Hoeven

Silver

The Grand Hotel (Mackinac Island, Michigan)
NTA contact: Julia Luckey-Ottenwess

Bronze

Monarch Hotel & Conference Center (Clackamas, Oregon)
NTA contact: Tammy Thompson


Group-friendly Restaurant

Cracker Barrel
Photo by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

Gold

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
“As one of America’s favorite home-away-from-homes, Cracker Barrel is always a beloved stop on the road. It’s an incredible honor for us to receive a Gold 2020 Distinguished Dozen Award because it’s voted on by NTA-member tour operators—the true experts in the packaged-travel industry.”
Tammy Phillips

Silver

Planet Hollywood/Buca di Beppo
NTA contact: Matt Luckett

Bronze

Hard Rock International
NTA contact: Michael Casillas


Big-ship or River Cruise Company

NCL
Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

Gold

Norwegian Cruise Line
“With more than 260 destinations worldwide, Norwegian has the perfect cruise for every traveler. Whether you seek the majesty of Alaska, the history of Europe, or basking on a beach in the Caribbean, you can take to the sea and find out what it means to ‘Feel Free.’”
Monique Adams

Silver

CroisiEurope
NTA contact: John McGlade

Bronze

American Queen Steamboat Company
NTA contact: Bob Salmon


Sightseeing Cruise Company

Hornblower
Photo by Hornblower Niagara Cruises

Gold

Hornblower Cruises & Events
Founded in 1980, Hornblower provides cruises from seven California port cities—San Francisco, Berkeley, Sacramento, Long Beach, Newport Beach, Marina del Rey, and San Diego—and excursions from the Statue of Liberty and Niagara Falls in New York State.
NTA contact: Estelle Miller

Silver

Entertainment Cruises
NTA contact: Liz Gilbert

Bronze

Boston Duck Tours
NTA contact: Bob Schwartz


Sightseeing Rail Company

Durango and Silverton
Photo by Pat Henderson

Gold

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
“We are honored to have been a member of the National Tour Association for over 25 years. And as loyal as we are to this association, NTA tour operators have been loyal to us. Thank you!”
Carrie Whitley

Silver

Alaska Railroad Corporation
NTA contact: Heather Dudick

Bronze

Rocky Mountaineer
NTA contact: Josh Mahon