WICHITA, Kan. (May 9, 2019) – As a part of National Travel & Tourism Week (May 5-11), Visit Wichita hosted their annual Summer Celebration Breakfast at AMC Northrock 14 to preview summer happenings in Wichita and recognize partners who have demonstrated exceptional hospitality.

The Wichita Area Hotel/Lodging Committee also announced its Stars of the Industry award recipients. “We are happy to recognize the dedicated professionals who are often the first point of contact for visitors to the city,” said Brandi Leydic, chair of the Wichita Area Hotel/Lodging Committee and special markets sales manager & group housing coordinator at Wichita Marriott. “Their enthusiasm and warm Wichita welcome are essential to ensuring our guests have a wonderful experience, reinforcing Wichita a ‘must-visit’ destination.”

The 2019 Stars of the Industry award winners were nominated by area hotel managers and represent a variety of hospitality functions. Winners include:

  • Manager: Anna Hessler, Best Western Wichita North
  • Front of the House: Tony Jimenez, Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview
  • Housekeeper: Maria Del Carmen Medrano, Homewood Suites By Hilton @ The Waterfront
  • Engineer: Junie De La Cruz, Hyatt Regency Hotel
  • Front Desk Agent: Elizabeth Casteel, Hampton Inn & Suites Wichita Airport

“The partnership between Visit Wichita and the Wichita Area Hotel/Lodging Committee is vital to Wichita’s prosperous travel industry,” said Visit Wichita President and CEO Susie Santo. “Additionally, National Travel & Tourism Week is an opportunity to tout Wichita’s breadth of summer activities, and encourage everyone – locals and visitors – to get out and enjoy all there is to see and do in Wichita.”

The event is also a chance to tout tourism’s important role in the local economy. In 2018, tourism in Wichita:

  • Contributed more than $1.1 billion in economic impact to the Greater Wichita Area.
  • Supported more than 13,200 jobs.
  • Generated $107 million in taxes.
  • Generated 138,760 incremental trips to Wichita.

In 2019, the organization is:

  • Greeting travel writers who will come from across the nation and meet in Wichita as the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) and Midwest Travel Journalists Association (MTJA) experience our city through the eyes of a visitor.
  • Bringing in more than 16,000 bowlers during the USBC Women’s Championships as they celebrate 100 years of their organization.
  • Welcoming thousands of basketball fans who will visit Wichita as the AfterShocks, a team of Wichita State men’s basketball alumni, take on other teams at The Basketball Tournament (TBT).

National Travel & Tourism Week is an annual week of awareness is organized by the U.S. Travel Association to unite communities across the country in celebrating what travel means to American jobs, economic growth and personal well-being.

For more information on National Travel and Tourism Week or Visit Wichita happenings, go to www.visitwichita.com/national-travel-tourism-week.


About Visit Wichita
Visit Wichita markets the Greater Wichita area and advocates for the city as a destination, increasing travel and tourism as a key economic driver for the city, county, region and state. Visit Wichita is led by president and CEO Susie Santo, and in 2018 travel and tourism contributed more than $1.1 billion in economic impact to the greater Wichita area, supporting more than 13,200 jobs.