Press Release

Visit Savannah Marketing Team Win TLC's Board of Directors Award for Tourism and Hospitality Excellence


Erica Backus

The Tourism Leadership Council (TLC) awarded the Visit Savannah communications and marketing team the distinguished TLC Board of Directors Award for work on Savannah's COVID-19 tourism recovery plan at their annual awards gala. The team was recognized for quickly and creatively planning a strategy and executing a marketing plan to get Savannah's hospitality community back to work safely and visitors returning to the destination during the pandemic.

"There are many examples of how the Visit Savannah communications and marketing team is one of the best in the industry," said Joseph Marinelli, President of Visit Savannah. "But this acknowledgment from the Tourism Leadership Council only confirms it. I am very proud of each of them individually and as a team."

The Visit Savannah communications and marketing team was instrumental in helping lead, along with the City of Savannah, TLC, Downtown Business Association, and others, the Savannah Safe initiative. The team launched and the Savannah Safe Pledge in May 2020 to highlight, for both locals and visitors, the health and safety protocols in place at area businesses to ensure the safety of their customers during COVID-19. More than 800 local businesses joined the pledge and helped Savannah's business community successfully navigate re-opening the city.

"While many businesses could only keep their heads down and try to stay afloat, Visit Savannah was putting into action a machine," said Michael T. Owens, President, and CEO of Tourism Leadership Council. "With our community's commitment to safety in place, the marketing of our community never stopped during the pandemic, thanks to the Visit Savannah team."

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Pictured L-R:  Mark Dana, TLC Chairman, Michael T. Owens, president and CEO of TLC and the Visit Savannah communications and marketing team of Pamela Knowles, Megan Kelley, Brittany Howard, Erica Backus, Mayra Smith, Shannon Lowery, Jeremy Harvey, and Lauren Cleland. (Not Pictured: Ansley Connor, Zeek Coleman, Jennifer Huling, and Ariel Washington)