On Friday, January 19, the Kelowna Hotel Motel Association celebrated its 7th Annual Heart of Hospitality Awards at a luncheon hosted at the Coast Capri Hotel.  The awards were started in 2017 to recognize industry professionals who have gone above and beyond to provide exceptional experiences to Kelowna and area visitors.

Heart of Hospitality Awards, 2024
Pictured (from left to right): Lisanne Ballantyne, President & CEO, Tourism Kelowna; Kelly Watt, Tourism Kelowna Board Chair; Delco McEvoy, Tourism Kelowna Board Secretary; Natalie Corbett, Tourism Kelowna Board Treasurer; Nikki Robinson, Director of Business Development, Tourism Kelowna; Ingrid Jarrett, President & CEO, BC Hotel Association.

Tourism Kelowna's Director of Business Development, Nikki Robinson, was proud to announce the winner of this year's Tourism Spirit Award: Michael Dellafortuna, Assistant Manager/Sales Manager, TownePlace Suites by Marriott.

The Tourism Spirit Award is presented to an individual who demonstrates the spirit of Kelowna's brand promise and the following destination ambassador values: purposeful, forward-thinking, welcoming, authentic, and nurturing. Michael and his team were nominated for supporting and caring for evacuees during the summer wildfires, which was an uncertain time for everyone in the community.

Heart of Hospitality Awards 2024
Nikki Robinson (right) presenting Michael with his award at TownePlace Suites on January 22. 

Two other awards were handed out during the ceremony:

Heart of Hospitality Gift Baskets

In addition to presenting the Tourism Spirit Award, we proudly contributed gift baskets, pictured above, for each of the winners, showcasing goods from local vendors and Tourism Kelowna's own retail lines. 

We want to congratulate all the award nominees and winners—thank you for your purposeful work, for engaging with visitors and locals alike in an authentic and welcoming manner, and for representing the destination with pride. Our local tourism industry and community would not be the same without your dedication to exceptional service.