STATEN ISLAND, NY – VISIT Staten Island has received a Tourism Excellence Award from the New State Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA) for “Most Significant COVID Response in Support of the Consumer,” Borough President James Oddo recently announced.

The virtual ceremony, which took place in the spring, paid tribute to the work completed in crisis conditions during the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) 2020.

The award was presented to VISIT Staten Island for creating its “Stay on Staten Island” social media campaign, administered by the Oddo Office of Tourism and Cultural Affairs.

The campaign encouraged residents to virtually explore their hometown while supporting local cultural organizations and businesses that were open during the pandemic.

Stay on Staten Island became a focal point for residents looking for activity during the stay at home mandate in the early days of the pandemic.

The award was presented to Deputy Chief of Staff Jennifer Sammartino and Colleen Siuzadk, Communications and External Affairs Manager.

Oddo thanked Sammartino and Siuzadk for what they did to “bring Staten Island to the forefront of the tourism industry while continuing to encourage residents to explore their own hometown”.

“The district has so much to offer – from history to food, experiences and shopping,” said Oddo. “We have everything and the whole world is starting to understand the message.”

There were a total of 27 awardees recognized from counties across New York State.

Next to VISIT Staten Island, Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, Livingston. received the same award for public relations from the series “Snug Harbor At Home”.

The program included virtual tours and exploration, as well as educational activities for children at home.

“By working in the New York State tourism community, you can connect with some of the best minds, most experienced personalities and forward-thinking thought leaders in the global tourism industry,” said Bob Provost, president of NYSTIA. “I am humble of your accomplishments and your service to your churches in 2020.”

The NYSTIA Awards are selected by a panel of industry experts.

The nominations are based on initiatives, campaigns, and individuals who help support New York State’s $ 115 billion tourist industry to fuel economic development.