2023 Stars of Almost Heaven AwardsNominations for the 2023 Stars of Almost Heaven Awards are now closed. Thank you for nominating the shining stars in our industry!
The annual Stars of Almost Heaven Awards are an opportunity for the West Virginia Department of Tourism to recognize industry partners across the state for their achievements in advertising, marketing and public relations, as well as their contributions to the tourism industry in West Virginia.
Update: 2023 nominations are now closed. We are looking forward to the awards ceremony on the evening of September 12, 2023. Please register for the Governor’s Conference on Tourism to attend.
Advertising and Public Relation Categories
Overall Earned Media
This award is presented to the industry partner with the best earned media coverage — from television and radio to print news, feature stories and social posts. Share with us how your organization was showcased through earned media this year.
Overall Marketing & Advertising Campaign
This award is presented to the organization with the most creative advertising campaign and marketing strategy—including print, radio, television, web, special media and other innovative mediums, if applicable.
This award is presented to the creators of the best-printed piece of tourism content, which could take the form of either print/photography layout in promotional materials or a print article.
This award is presented to the organization that creates and deploys the best digital media across multiple platforms, including website development and content shared across social media platforms. The winning digital media should include creative content, captivating imagery and innovative online features.
This award is presented to the best single or multi-partner group ad from the Cooperative Advertising Program. Submissions can include print, digital, broadcast, radio and out-of-home.
This award is presented to any marketing or creative projects that do not fit into any other advertising and public relations categories. Projects may include but are not limited to creative projects involving visitor center installations, Restaurant Weeks, workforce initiatives, product development, innovative campaigns and experiential endeavors.
INDUSTRY RECOGNITION CATEGORIES
Governor’s Award for Regional Cooperation
This award is presented to a group of individuals, communities or organizations that have initiated regional tourism development efforts involving two or more parties. These groups will have demonstrated cooperation or collaboration across county lines in order to strengthen the region’s identity as a travel destination.
Spirit of West Virginia Award
This award is presented to a community or organization that has promoted West Virginia tourism development and enhanced community spirit while preserving the state’s cultural, historical or natural heritage and beauty. Emphasis is given to volunteer and community efforts.
The Mountain State Award for Economic Development
This award recognizes an event, facility or business that has enhanced its local resources through multi-business cooperatives, creative and innovative development efforts. Emphasis is given to development that creates jobs and/or opportunities for entrepreneurship.
West Virginia Tourism Oshel Craigo Lifetime Achievement Award
This award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated continued leadership for a significant period of time or substantial contributions to the growth and success of West Virginia’s tourism industry. This individual is considered the “best of the best” in the industry.
Note: This award is not awarded every year.
West Virginia Tourism Professional of the Year Award
This is presented to an individual who has made an outstanding and significant contribution to West Virginia’s tourism industry, through exceptional job performance, leadership in the industry or development and improvement of tourism facilities and activities. While the panel is encouraged to consider career contributions, emphasis will be placed on contributions during the past year.
The Future of Tourism Award
This is presented to an individual or business who has made an outstanding and significant contribution to West Virginia’s tourism workforce development through the creation or expert management of job training programs, internships, apprenticeships or education programs.