Auburn-Opelika Tourism was named Tourism Organization of the Year this week by the Alabama Tourism Department. State Tourism Director Lee Sentell presented this prestigious award to AO Tourism President John Wild on Thursday evening at the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

Awards are presented each year at the conference recognizing the most successful contributions to Alabama’s tourism industry: a $13.4 billion industry in Alabama, supporting an estimated 165,230 jobs in 2020.

Given the challenges of 2020, the team at Auburn-Opelika Tourism was particularly pleased to be recognized for their efforts.

“In good times and bad, we never stop striving to ensure we are a community shared value in resources, information, growth and development,” said Robyn Bridges, vice president of Auburn-Opelika Tourism. “We will be the first to celebrate and promote our community’s wealth in tourism and hospitality offerings, and we will be the first to embrace our neighbors in shared struggles and challenges.”

Auburn-Opelika Tourism was recognized for its dedication to the community during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic through social media campaigns, a restaurant meal exchange program and partnerships with local businesses including John Emerald Distillery.

Prior to the pandemic, the amount tourists spent in Auburn-Opelika had grown by double digits every year for a decade. Click here to view the full 2020 Economic Impact Report for the state of Alabama.

For more information about Auburn-Opelika Tourism, visit or contact Robyn Bridges at  


Auburn-Opelika Tourism is a non-profit service organization positively impacting our local economy and enhancing the quality of life in our community through tourism and travel.