Maryland’s Coast Team Recognized for Major Contributions to State Tourism

Brianna Dix earned the New Professional of the Year Award at the Maryland Travel and Tourism Summit.

Maryland’s Coast – Worcester County Tourism and Economic Development (WCTED) received top accolades for making major contributions to state tourism during the 42nd annual Maryland Travel and Tourism Summit. WCTED Director Melanie Pursel was named Tourism Advocate of the Year. She and her team earned the prestigious Office of Tourism Development (OTD) Leveraging Partnerships Award for their Maryland’s Coast Adventures project. They also received the Cooperative Partnership Award and three additional awards for excellence during the summit.

"We are especially excited to be recognized by the OTD for Maryland's Coast Adventures, which is a strategically crafted video series to lure visitors to explore the hidden gems and small businesses within the region,” WCTED Director Melanie Pursel said. “The series attracts enthusiastic viewership on social channels, such as Facebook and YouTube. It also runs out of market weekly on the Mid Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), as well as on AT&T Sports Net. You can also find us four times daily on the Resort Video Guide in both Ocean City and Rehoboth via Comcast and Mediacom. The impact of this partnership transcends state lines, resonating with audiences in neighboring states, including Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, New York, Ohio, and North Carolina, with the goal of generating overnight room stays, multiple and longer visits, introducing new audiences to our amazing assets, and boosting revenue to the county.”

Pursel received the Tourism Advocate Award for her numerous contributions to furthering local and state tourism, to include successfully leading legislative initiatives and maintaining an unwavering commitment to heightening the awareness of the tourism industry and its impact on the economy.

In addition, Brianna Dix, WCTED advertising and destination marketing specialist, earned the New Professional of the Year Award, as a newcomer to Maryland tourism whose spirit and commitment exemplify the ideal of the tourism profession.

Michele Burke, WCTED business development and retention specialist, earned the coveted Ambassador of the Year Award. Her achievements in the field of tourism, including increasing members, promoting, and cheerleading to grow the Maryland Tourism Coalition’s efforts statewide, exemplify the mission of the Maryland Tourism Coalition.

The coalition also crowned the Maryland's Coast 2023 Official Visitors Guide with the Best Printed Promotional Material Award for promoting tourism in Worcester County.

Their dedication to teambuilding and developing regional partnerships earned WCTED the Cooperative Partnership Award for the Chesapeake Country All American Road Byway Alliance, a touring campaign that promotes multiple destinations, businesses, and organizations.

The annual summit is sponsored and managed by the Maryland Tourism Coalition, which brings together hundreds of public sector leaders as well as private businesses representatives in the hospitality industry each year to network and develop new strategies to benefit tourism and the State of Maryland as a whole. The Maryland Tourism Awards were presented by the Maryland Department of Commerce Office of Tourism Development and the Maryland Tourism Development Board.