Tourism professionals representing Jefferson County drew praise for personality and passion while sharing travel opportunities and attractions at Travel Media Showcase. Journalists awarded the Travel Media Showcase Journalist Choice Award for a destination to Mallory Cross of the Beaumont Convention and Visitors Bureau and Darragh Castillo of the Port Arthur Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“It’s always so rewarding for me when I get to announce the winner of the journalist choice award,” said Joanne Vero, producer of Travel Media Showcase. “Beaumont-Port Arthur shared their passion for their destination with our journalists and hands down was the top pick for the award, well done ladies!”

The showcase drew travel writers, bloggers and travel influencers from around the country to Niagara Falls, New York for activities and meetings from September 12-14. Cross and Castillo visited with more than 30 writers, mostly in 15-minute appointments where they piqued interest of area attractions from the Big Thicket and Sea Rim State Park to McFaddin-Ward House, Gator Country and Museum of the Gulf Coast as well as Southeast Texas cuisine.

The representatives aimed to attract writers to the Beaumont and Port Arthur areas to share Southeast Texas assets with their broad audiences and promote additional tourism to the area.

“People already love Texas and these travelers were eager to know more about our culture and landscape. They were especially interested in our Cajun flavors, including gumbo, boudin and crawfish,” Castillo said.

“It was an amazing opportunity to share what we love about or area to these writers from all over the country,” stated Cross. “Some had not heard of Beaumont or Port Arthur, so to put our area on the radar of these talented writers was already a win to us. It feels terrific to be voted for this award and to know that what we said resonated because of our passion for our cities.”

Travel Media Showcase offers a unique opportunity for top travel journalists and travel industry professionals to meet one-on-one, at a single location, for the purpose of exchanging information and developing personal contacts. Through this showcase, exhibitors are able to participate in appointments as well as "meet and greet" opportunities with all journalists.