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Cultural Heritage Tourism Award

Nov 16, 2011 06:32PM ● By Anonymous

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge also honored at state tourism summit.

CAMBRIDGE, MD – The Dorchester and Caroline Offices of Tourism jointly received the 2011 Cultural Heritage Tourism Award from the Maryland Office of Tourism Development. The award recognizes the counties’ work in sharing the story of Harriet Tubman, famed “conductor” of the Underground Railroad who led enslaved people to freedom in the mid-1800s. Tubman was born in Dorchester County and traveled through Caroline County during the escapes she led.

The award recognizes both counties’ efforts to create the Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center, the Byway, and the proposed National Historical Park. The award was presented during the Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit in early November in Prince Georges County.

The State Park and Visitor Center are planned for a site near Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge outside of Cambridge. Groundbreaking for the Visitor Center is expected in 2013, the year that marks the 100th anniversary of Tubman’s death.

The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway traces 125 miles through Dorchester and Caroline Counties and highlights landscapes that are significant to Tubman’s life or the Underground Railroad. Many of the landscapes remain as they were in Tubman’s time. In 2009 the Byway was named an All-American Road, one of only 31 byways to receive the designation, the federal government’s highest.

“We are excited to be able to play such a significant role in telling the story of one of our nation’s greatest heroes,” said Amanda Fenstermaker, director of Dorchester County Tourism. “The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway is an outstanding effort to not only improve the economies of Dorchester and Caroline counties, but to celebrate and empower the local community to become engaged in their history.”

During the same Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit, the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort in Cambridge was presented with the AAA Four Diamond ranking for the eighth year in a row. The ranking is part of AAA’s extensive hotel rating system, recognizing the Hyatt’s “extensive array of amenities combined with a high degree of hospitality, service, and attention to detail,” according to AAA.

The Hyatt will also be the site of the Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit in November 2012.

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FOR MORE INFO: Amanda Fenstermaker, director of Dorchester Tourism or 410.228.1000