OXFORD — The Granville Tourism Development Authority was recently recognized with a Gold Award in Community Relations by the N.C. Travel Industry Association. The authority earned the top honor for its virtual “Gathering in Granville County” campaign, a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic has greatly impacted the tourism industry, causing us to miss out on events that bring visitors to our area,” said Angela Allen, executive director of the Tourism Development Authority. “We realized that members of our community were also missing out on opportunities to gather together, so this campaign was designed to help connect everyone virtually, encouraging the idea to get out and about while still practicing social distancing.”

Through the campaign, the TDA created a series of fun and safe social media “challenges” that showcased Granville County, taking advantage of the time of year to create outings that ranged from “Snow Day” activities to strawberry picking. On average, each installment of the campaign, which encouraged community involvement on Facebook and Instagram, reached approximately 7,000 people and created more than 250 engagements each.

“From an association perspective, we especially value this award because it signifies how important the citizens of our state and Granville County are in delivering the unique and lasting memories found in North Carolina,” said Vince Chelena, executive director of the NCTIA.

Wit Tuttell, director of Visit N.C. Tourism, added that the award highlights the unique relationship Allen and the Tourism Development Authority has with Granville County.

“This is the second premier NCTIA award in the last three years for Angela,” Tuttell said. “It’s not a coincidence that both awards were based on community relations. It really shows the love and appreciation she has for her community.”

While the award was officially presented to the authority, Allen credits the role the community played to the success of the campaign. “Everyone came together and created this campaign, and the TDA pushed it out on social media,” she said. “This is an award I accepted on behalf of the greater Granville community.”

For more information on this marketing campaign or to learn more about tourism events in Granville County, contact Allen by email at angela.allen@granvillecounty.org or by phone at 919-693-6125. Those interested may also visit the Granville County Tourism website at www.visitgranvillenc.com.