News & Resources for the Indiana Tourism Industry

Tourism Industry News

Hello Industry Partners,

School is back in session and summer is coming to a close. The 2019 Indiana State Fair is in the rearview mirror and was celebrated with record attendance this year.

I would like to extend a special thanks to the dozens of volunteers from across the industry who staffed our booth inside the Visit Indiana Beer, Wine, and Spirits Pavilion. During the 17-day stretch, we had the opportunity to interact with thousands of visitors.

Congratulations to Steve Ferguson, Cook Group Chairman of the Board, who was this year’s recipient of the Will Koch Indiana Tourism Leadership Award. The award announcement was part of the Lt. Governor’s annual Hoosier Hospitality Awards. At the Cook Group, Mr. Ferguson is heavily involved with the company's restoration and renovation of historic properties in Southern Indiana. The crown jewel was about a decade ago with the creation of French Lick Resort. At the time, tourism traffic was growing sparse at French Lick Springs Hotel and the West Baden Hotel sat empty for over 70 years.

A video of this year's Will Koch Indiana Tourism Leadership Award can be found here.

Crouch and IOTD also presented 15 representatives of the tourism industry the Hoosier Hospitality Award for their high level of service in tourism-related jobs at hotels, restaurants, attractions and other destinations.

The 2019 Lieutenant Governor’s Hoosier Hospitality Award recipients can be found here.  Congratulations to all!

After wrapping up at the fair, Amy and I attended the ESTO conference in Austin, Texas. I was able to connect with directors from all over the country. Amy enjoyed learning from her peers at the professional development sessions.

Noelle and Kyle attended OCRA’s Great Lakes Main Street Conference in South Bend. The conference explored techniques and practices for downtown revitalization and economic development in our communities, which goes hand-in-hand with tourism.

We are wrapping up our spring/summer campaign and are just about to start our fall campaign. Soon our online voting for the Best of Indiana categories will open. This year, Hoosiers can cast votes for Indiana’s Best Breweries, Best Hiking Trails and Best Main Streets. Experts from the Brewers Guild, DNR and OCRA helped narrow the list. You can go to to check out the nominees in each category and cast your vote.  I encourage you to share the list with others and tell them to vote, too!  Voting closes on November 3. Winners will be announced shortly thereafter.

I’m proud to announce that we’ve hired our summer intern, Josh Alsip, as a full-time employee. He’s a great addition to our team. He did a phenomenal job for us this summer, and I know he will do a terrific job as our new project manager. Please join me in welcoming Josh to our team!

Thank you for your dedication and commitment to making Indiana the premier tourist destination it is.

All the Best,