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News and Events Details
Terry Mattson Receives 2012 Best in Minnesota's Hospitality Industry
"Vision Award" for Leadership
The unprecedented rainfall and flash flooding of June 20, 2012 left an immediate mark on Duluth, Minnesota, and its neighboring towns. Amid the damage, many feared the local hospitality industry would take a massive perception hit. But local citizens and leaders came together, acting fast and working hard to make sure would-be summer visitors knew that Duluth was still open for business.
People like UW-Superior 1984 graduate Terry Mattson. The president and CEO of Visit Duluth, the city's official destination marketing organization, was recognized with a 2012 Vision Award for Leadership by the editors of Meetings: Minnesota's Hospitality Journal (mn-meetings.com). Mattson was presented with the award September 27 in Minneapolis. The Best in Minnesota's Hospitality Industry Leadership Award, bestowed for calling others into action and making an impact, is one of seven Vision Awards that celebrate professionals who demonstrated best practices over the past year.
It's exactly what Mattson did in the aftermath of the storm-immediately working with city, state and federal officials to create a unified message that the city's tourism infrastructure was undamaged and ready for business. The slogan, "Duluth is open for you" was created and infused into a strategic communications plan for traditional and social media. In countless news interviews, the message of reassuring travelers that they could still come to Duluth had to be carefully crafted so as not to minimize the significant damage that had occurred to residential areas and surrounding communities.
It paid off, according to one indicator: Duluth tourism tax collections increased by five percent in July 2012 over July 2011-despite the storm and its publicity aftermath.
"Terry Mattson leads with a passion and desire to serve the best interests of our community," said Anna Tanski, Visit Duluth director of sales and marketing. "He opened clear channels of communication between industry stakeholders and multiple agencies. He gathered input and feedback, then set a plan in motion based on one collective voice. Without his proactive leadership, the negative impact to Duluth's tourism industry could have been devastating."
Visit Duluth is Duluth's only officially recognized destination marketing organization. Chartered in 1935, it represents approximately 400 businesses that make up Duluth's tourism industry and is dedicated to promoting the area as one of America's great vacation and meeting destinations-providing comprehensive, unbiased information to all travelers.
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