Image of Vickie Oldham
Vickie Oldham, the NTTW 2020 Voice of Sarasota
people walking on the beach in sarasota florida
The Spirit of Travel is strong in Sarasota County

Visit Sarasota County Recognizes Voice of Sarasota

Celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week highlights the Spirit of Travel

May 7, 2020

SARASOTA, Fla. – Visit Sarasota County (VSC) celebrated its annual National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) Award Ceremony virtually today and announced the Sarasota County Tourism & Hospitality Voice of Sarasota recipient, Vickie Oldham. The Zoom presentation included special guests, Sarasota County Commission Chair, Michael A. Moran, and VSC Board Chair, Christine Johnson, President, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. VSC also shared an inspirational video featuring local hospitality employees speaking to this year’s NTTW theme, “The Spirit of Travel.”

This year, the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency is having an unprecedented impact on the travel industry and the entire economy. Now more than ever, the travel and tourism community must come together, support each other, and remind our country that even through the most difficult times, the Spirit of Travel cannot be broken.

“Albeit differently than previous years, Visit Sarasota County was excited to celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week and honor the 2020 Voice of Tourism, Vickie Oldham,” said Virginia Haley, President, VSC. “The Spirt of Travel can never be broken, and we felt it was a nice opportunity to focus on the positive and bring together the local hospitality and tourism industry.”

National Travel and Tourism Week is hosted by the U.S. Travel Association and is an annual tradition for the U.S. travel community. It is a time when travel and tourism professionals across the country unite to celebrate the value travel holds for our economy, businesses, and personal wellbeing. In Sarasota County, it is also a time to celebrate and pay tribute to locals in the community who keep this industry thriving.

vickie oldham
2020 Voice of Tourism 
Award winner Vickie
Oldham

This year VSC honored Vickie Oldham, CEO of Vickie O Heritage Productions and Consultant to Newtown Alive.  Vickie grew up in Newtown in the City of Sarasota.  In 2015, she led a team of professionals and volunteers who researched Newtown’s history, produced a book, installed 15 historical markers, conducted oral history interviews and inventoried historic structures. She opened this history to the world through a website, an app and very popular historic trolley tours.

Her work documented the 1950s efforts of the African American community to open segregated Lido Beach. All this effort led to Sarasota’s Newtown into the U.S. Civil Rights Trail in December 2018.  Sarasota’s Newtown was one of the first five historic sites in Florida to be included in the Trail, a tremendous national honor. Thanks to Vickie’s passion, the rich history of Newtown is now being shared with both visitors and our community.  For this, VSC decided to recognize Vickie with the 2020 Voice of Sarasota award.

For more information about National Travel and Tourism Week please visit https://www.ustravel.org/events/national-travel-and-tourism-week. For more information about VSC’s annual Awards Ceremony, please contact Kelly Defebo at [email protected].

About Sarasota County

Visit Sarasota County leads and supports the tourism industry in Sarasota County by providing the highest quality, and most innovative, marketing programs and promotions to ensure the continued growth of tourism and travel from visitors around the world. It is the mission of VSC is to make Sarasota County the must experience destination on Florida’s Gulf Coast. To learn more, visit www.visitsarasota.com.

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