The Fourth Annual National Tourism Week Open House and Community Cookout is from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the Kosciusko County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) at the visitor center on U.S. 30.

According to Jill Boggs, chief executive officer, the free community cookout has grown each year in celebration of the local travel industry. Last year there were nearly 275 who attended.

“As destination marketers and managers, the CVB partners with over 300 businesses and organizations in the local travel industry. Visitors and corporate travelers have a vast selection of dynamic and memorable travel experiences to choose from,” Boggs said.

Kosciusko County’s travel markets are outdoor recreation and adventure travel; arts, cultural and heritage events travel; shopping and food travel; visiting friends and relatives; corporate and pass-thru travel; sports events; and group tours, according to a news release from the CVB.

The open house and community cookout, sponsored by NIPSCO, is a way to advocate for Kosciusko County’s travel industry and to recognize the $184.4 million in visitor spending that creates a wide reaching economic impact. Event partners are Warsaw Parks & Recreation Department, Advanced Disposal and SYM Financial.

Community members are invited to attend the open house, tour the visitor center, register for a Kosciusko County give-away, and enjoy a hot dog or brat grilled by tourism partner One Ten Craft Meatery.

The event is rain or shine.

Community representatives throughout the county will go on the radio to talk about their town events on WIOE 101.1, WLQZ 93.9, WRSW 107.3 and Willie 103.5. The CVB is prepared to serve up to 250 hot dogs and brats.

“A major factor to successfully drawing visitors to Kosciusko County is our residents. By building awareness of what the visitor bureau does in destination marketing, learning about and experiencing our various travel offerings, and sharing their own experiences, undoubtedly grows our brand image and the economic benefit back to Kosciusko County and our tourism partners,” Boggs said.