Greater Des Moines has won the honor of five awards at the 2013 Iowa Tourism Conference, including Outstanding Collaboration, Outstanding New Event, Outstanding Website, Outstanding Tourism Business and Outstanding Social Media Execution. 

“Winning five awards is a shining moment for Greater Des Moines tourism,” said Greg Edwards, President and CEO of the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau and Des Moines Area Sports Commission. “Our community embraces tourism as Des Moines grows as a destination for meeting and sports planners, group tours and leisure travelers.”

The Outstanding Collaboration Award and the Outstanding New Event Award were both granted to the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau, the parent organization of the Des Moines Area Sports Commission, along with Iowa State University, Iowa Events Center and Polk County for successful partnership on the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling National Championships held at Wells Fargo Arena—an event that broke NCAA Fan Fest attendance records and brought $15 million to the local economy.

The Outstanding Website Award was given to for increased user-friendliness resulting in 29% growth of unique website visitors from November 2012 through June 2013 over the previous year.

Additionally, the Iowa Events Center was awarded Outstanding Tourism Business for its role in helping Greater Des Moines and Iowa tourism reach for new goals, solicit and book new business and make an impact on the local economy. Blank Park Zoo was honored with Outstanding Social Media Execution for excellence in social media strategy.

The Iowa Tourism Conference was held in Waterloo this week. The award recipients have positively contributed to the experience of visitors and the quality of life of residents—and are the highest honor given for tourism in Iowa.