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SPRINGFIELD — After a two-year delay caused by the pandemic, the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (GSCVB) announced that the 2022 Howdy Awards for Hospitality Excellence will be held on Monday, May 16 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.

“We are both thrilled and confident that our event will go off smoothly in May,” GSCVB President Mary Kay Wydra said. “After all the adversity our industry has endured and overcome since March 2020, we’re very eager and excited to salute the most welcoming, professional, and guest-friendly people in this region’s hospitality sector, as nominated by the very people they’ve impressed. And of course, we’ll be saluting our tremendous resilience and determination at the same time.”

The Howdy Awards were first celebrated in 1996, designed to acknowledge the essential role that superior customer service plays in creating positive visitor encounters, and encouraging return trips, glowing online reviews, and positive word of mouth. Thus, Wydra pointed out, the 2020 event would have formally marked the prestigious program’s 25th anniversary.

“Right now, we’re also making our final call for nominations,” she added. “Anyone can nominate a candidate who’s demonstrated outstanding customer service in the categories of Accommodations, Beverage, Attractions, Banquet, Food Casual, Food Tableside, Public Service, Retail, and Transportation. It’s easy to do on the GSCVB website, and we encourage people to make nominations in multiple categories; you are not limited to only one candidate.”

Nominations for the 2022 Awards must be received by Tuesday, March 1. Enter online at www.explorewesternmass.com/howdy-awards.