Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) celebrated the 59th annual Adrian Awards at the New York Marriott Marquis on February 16. At the event, HSMAI honored 2015's outstanding hospitality advertising, public relations and digital marketing campaigns before nearly 1,000 attendees.

"It was a great evening to gather and honor the originality in the hospitality industry and the people behind the work," said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, president and CEO of HSMAI.

The Adrian Awards began in 1957 and consider entries from every segment of the travel and hospitality industry, including hotels, airlines, cruise lines, car rental companies, and destinations, among others. Winners are selected from a field of more than 1,300 entries by senior industry and media experts.

Two industry leaders were honored with HSMAI Lifetime Achievement awards. George Aguel, president and CEO of Visit Orlando, received the Albert E. Koehl Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Marketing.

"When I was given the wonderful news about being selected for this award, I quickly began to think about what my career's been like for these 40 plus years and there's no doubt it's been a real good one," said Aguel.

Gordon Lambourne, senior vice president, consumer public relations, at MarriottInternational, Inc., was the recipient of the Winthrop W. Grice Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Public Relations.

"I have embarked on a journey of experiences. My job was a true dream job, every day, every year," said Lambourne. "I have been blessed personally and professionally and has been my rock."

The sixth annual Leader in Sustainable Tourism award, presented by HSMAI and National Geographic Traveler, went to Wilderness Safaris and their agency Hawkins International Public Relations.

Gold Awards went to one of the largest groups of winners in the Awards' history, including 70 awards in Advertising, 122 in Digital Marketing and 139 in Public Relations, and were honored during the Adrian Awards Dinner Reception co-hosted by HSMAI,, Google, and TravelClick. Platinum Award winners were selected from the most-outstanding Gold Award winners.

The gala's highest honor Best of Show was selected from Platinum winners. Best of Show Awards were presented to the following winners in the advertising, digital marketing and PR categories:

  • Advertising "Best of Show" – Creative and Colourful Places – Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism - and its agency Target.
  • Digital Marketing "Best of Show" – Millionth Mobile Check-in – Marriott International. "We are so excited," said Marriott International representatives David Menda and Amanda Olcott. "This project was a true cross-collaboration between the global and digital marketing teams."
  • Public Relations "Best of Show" – The Epic Big Board Campaign – Visit Huntington Beach and its agency Development Counsellors International.

"In beach terms, I am stoked!" said Visit Huntington Beach representative Susan Thomas. "The community was an integral part of the making and shaping of this project. The city will be so proud."

Platinum Awards were given to the following recipients in the advertising, digital marketing and PR categories:

Advertising Platinum Winners: Company; Agency

  • Visit Tampa Bay; PP+K.
  • Hilton Worldwide – Homewood Suites; Van Winkle Pearce.
  • Embassy Suites by Hilton; Y&R Chicago.
  • Visit Greensville South Carolina.
  • Aruba Tourism Authority; The Concept Farm.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism; Target.

Digital Marketing Platinum Winners: Company; Agency

  • Hotel Pennsylvania; HeBS Digital.
  • Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions; Expedia Media Solutions.
  •; MMGY Global.
  • Triumph Hotels; HeBS Digital.
  • Visit Savannah.
  • Hilton Head Island – Bluffton Chamber of Commerce; VERB Interactive.
  • Marriott International; MEC Global and BCM.
  • Marriott International.

Public Relations Platinum Winners: Company; Agency

  • Israel Ministry of Tourism; Geoffrey Weill Associates.
  • The Library Foundation of Los Angeles; MFA, Ltd.
  • Extended Stay America; Zimmerman.
  • Nomadic Expeditions; Hawkins International Public Relations.
  • Wyndham Hotel Group; MMGY Global.
  • VisitScotland; Laura Davidson Public Relations.
  • Singapore Airlines; Weber Shandwick.
  • Hilton Worldwide; Edelman.
  • Best Western Hotels & Resorts; Allison and Partners.
  • Visit Huntington Beach; Development Counsellors International.