Begun in 2001, the Florida Tourism Hall of Fame acknowledges contemporary and historic figures whose vision, creativity and drive have had a positive and significant impact on the development of Florida as a desirable visitor destination. One individual is chosen annually and announced during the Governor's Conference on Tourism in September. The award is presented on behalf of the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors. For more information, visit FloridaTourismHallofFame.org or contact Joey Bell at (850) 205-3863.
Inducted in 2017:
The 2017 Florida Tourism Hall of Fame Award winner was an innovator, a collaborator and a visionary. He consistently worked to unify efforts in support of the Florida tourism industry. He was a bridge-builder and a creator of coalition whose motto was “Growth in tourism benefits all.” His ability to put together people with dissimilar interests to forge a common goal was legendary.
While managing the Busch Gardens and SeaWorld Orlando marketing programs, he led a corporate initiative to define new international markets for Florida tourism. As president and CEO of The Florida Aquarium, he built the attraction into a tourism destination that has delighted millions of visitors and is a leading light in the fields of conservation and research.
He was a consummate volunteer and community cheerleader, serving on the Visit Tampa Bay Board, the Florida Tourism Commission and the VISIT FLORIDA board, among many others.
Sadly, this year’s honoree passed away in January after a valiant battle with cancer. It is our great honor to present the VISIT FLORIDA Tourism Hall of Fame Award posthumously to Thom Stork.