Visit Winona Presents 2021-22 Tourism Awards | Local

For the first time since the pandemic began, Visit Winona was able to bring community members together Tuesday evening for its annual Tourism Awards ceremony at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum.

People from across the country with various ties to Winona chose the winners of two of the 2021-2022 awards: the People’s Choice Award and the Hidden Gem Award.

Bloedow Bakery won the People’s Choice Award for 2021-22, while voters chose Winona Public Library for the Hidden Gem Award.

Visit Winona marketer Cynthya Porter said there were around 700 nominations and over 1,000 votes for these awards, with the Hidden Gem being the most competitive.

The difference between the two awards, Porter shared, is that the People’s Choice Award is for an entity in the community that would be a destination for people to come to Winona, while the Hidden Gem Award is for an entity that people probably didn’t know and didn’t fully realize it until they visited Winona and experienced it.

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The third award, the Partnership Excellence Award, was chosen by the Visit Winona Partnership Committee and presented to the Winona County Historical Society.

Kate Carlson, Director of Partnerships for Visit Winona, said the winner was chosen because of their commitment to working with Visit Winona and their contribution to the city’s hospitality industry.

Carlson said WCHS particularly stands out under these requirements because of its work to welcome cruise ships to Winona, provide tours and provide other programs for the community, while creating a gallery and community space. for the enjoyment of visitors.

All three winners expressed their gratitude for the honors.

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