U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson is Discover DeKalb’s 2018 “Bill Hardman Sr. Tourism Champion in Government.”
Johnson, who represents the 4th Congressional District that includes portions of DeKalb County, received the award on Aug. 29 at the 2018 Georgia Governor’s Tourism Conference at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. He was nominated by Discover DeKalb, who called him “a great advocate for tourism” and said he understands the importance of creating a positive experience for visitors to DeKalb County.
The Bill Hardman Sr. Tourism Government Champion Award is given to individuals or organizations that collaborate with the state of Georgia to increase visitation and tourism expenditures and by showing extraordinary support of tourism through their legislative or organizational efforts.
Discover DeKalb said since coming into office in 2007, Johnson has worked to ensure the growth of U.S. and Georgia tourism by being one of the original supporters of the Travel Promotion Act, which created Brand USA and the national tourism promotion office. He has also been an advocate for the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area and exemplifies leadership initiative, innovation, service, and partnership, the award’s building blocks.
James Tsismanakis, Discover DeKalb CEO, said Discover DeKalb is proud to be Johnson’s friend and to support his recognition as the Bill Hardman Sr. Tourism Champion in Government.
“Rep. Johnson has continued to be an advocate for Arabia Mountain and the entire national heritage area program, which supports our efforts to bring millions of visitors to, and, through Georgia’s third-largest county,” Tsismanakis said.
Johnson, who is a member of the U.S. House Travel & Tourism Caucus, said it is an honor to receive the award.
“DeKalb County has so many treasures and because of the film and music industry, those treasures are now being explored by celebrities, working people and families from all over the country and world,” he said. “That is why I will continue to be an advocate for the world’s busiest airport and creating safer roads to make visits to and throughout Georgia more pleasurable ones.”