Tourism Has Huge Impact on the Economy

Kent County Tourism Executive Director Cindy Small, CCGM Vice President Mike Kazala, Southern Delaware Tourism Marketing Administrator Jenna Backes

By Jo Schmeiser, Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford Executive Director

Usually when we talk about tourists in these parts the reaction is often somewhat of a snarl and mention about traffic and the beach.What a lot of people don’t know, and what over forty-five Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford Members found out Wednesday October 12th, is that tourism is much more than that.

Before guests enjoyed the catered lunch upstairs at the Georgia House Restaurant, they had the opportunity to learn more about tourism in Delaware by two special guests.
The first guest speaker introduced by CCGM Vice President Mike Kazala was Kent County Executive Director Cindy Small. If you know Cindy her face lights up when she talks about tourism and what a vital part it is to the economy in our state.

Cindy is a native Delawarean with more than 30 years of experience in journalism, public relations, marketing and tourism. For the past five years she has served as Executive Director for Kent County Tourism, a non-profit community based organization located in Dover. Before relocating to Kent County, Cindy was the Executive Director for Southern Delaware Tourism. Cindy says tourism has a $1.9 billion (yes, I said billion) annual economic impact on Delaware. She added, “38,000 jobs are directly related to tourism”.

You may be familiar with Dover Days, which it one of the events Kent County Tourism hosts each year, and has for over seventy years. Kent County Tourism also hosts the Amish Bike Tour, bringing over 1,000 people to Kent County in early September, a Bridal Show in February, and on Sunday October 23rd they’ll be hosting the 2nd Annual Wine and Beer Festival. Cindy gave away two tickets to the Wine and Beer Festival at the

Luncheon and Kathy Jackson, with Tastefully Simple was the lucky winner.
In addition to the events KCT hosts, they work very closely with any and all businesses related to tourism, including the CCGM and many of our members.
For more information about Kent County Tourism contact Cindy at 734.1736 or check out their website: .

The second guest speaker at the luncheon was Jenna Backes, Marketing Administrator for Southern Delaware Tourism. Jenna received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from the Kings College in New York City. Last year Jenna worked for a manufacturing company in Milton. She is currently in charge of all social media marketing and content management on the SDT website. She is also leading the Culinary Coast advertising campaign, designed to increase culinary tourism.

Jenna says Southern Delaware Tourism is a little different from Kent County Tourism. She says they do not host events, but are responsible for supporting and marketing chamber events in Sussex County. Jenna says their calendar of events is packed with events from 10 Chambers of Commerce in Southern Delaware.

Jenna says in addition to all of the support they provide to chambers of commerce, she also tweets, providing instant information to tourists asking about everything from entertainment to eating establishments. She says it’s great to be able to answer questions right away and provide tourists with information where they can help the local economy.
Jenna also mentioned that they work very hard developing packages for tourists and that Milford businesses should work together to offer similar packages to tourists so they know where to go while in the area, and can save money while visiting.

For more information about Southern Delaware Tourism contact Jenna at 856.1818 or After Cindy and Jenna finished educating the group they were presented with goodie bags provided by CCGM Member Reading Assist and filled with goodies from several chamber members.

For more information about the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford call 422.3344, visit or check us out on facebook.