BROWNSVILLE, TN – May 6, 2019 – Brownsville Mayor Bill Rawls recently announced the formation of a destination marketing organization to promote tourism.
During the mayor's State of the City address May 2, he appointed Sonia Outlaw-Clark as chief executive officer of Visit Brownsville TN. The announcement comes as the nation begins its annual celebration of Travel and Tourism Week, May 5-11.
"The economic impact of tourism in Brownsville has been inching up over the last few years," said Rawls. "Visitors spent $15.5 million here in 2017, leaving our community with an additional $690,000 in local sales tax, largely due to Sonia's efforts. She is the right person to take this to the next level."
The newly created tourism entity will begin building the framework for attracting more visitors to our community. Clark, who had been unofficially serving as the city's lead tourism person through her position as the director of the Delta Heritage Center, now has the authority to act as the official DMO representative.
"I love hearing our guests tell us how much they enjoy visiting our region," said Outlaw-Clark, "how 'real' it seems to them. They are craving the rural experience and we are the perfect destination to fill this niche. I appreciate the Mayor's confidence in me and the opportunity to introduce Brownsville to even more travelers who are looking for genuine people and places."
According to Outlaw-Clark, education will be a key component of the new DMO's strategy. "Not only will we be inviting more people to town, we will also be educating our community about what attracts visitors to Brownsville and how we can all help make their experiences here more enjoyable."
She also hopes the effort will spark local entrepreneurs to think about businesses and services that would enhance a guest's visit, such as Airbnb, live music and shopping. "Tourism is economic development - and at the end of the day, Visit Brownsville's objective is to create jobs and opportunities for this community."
Outlaw-Clark, a lifelong resident of Haywood County, has served as director of the Delta Heritage Center since 2010. She is a graduate of the Southeast Tourism Marketing College and has been awarded certifications as a Travel Marketing Professional, Certified Tennessee Tourism Professional and a Festival and Events Planner. As founder of the Tina Turner Museum, she spearheaded the preservation efforts to move and restore Flagg Grove School, Tina's childhood school, in 2014; and spoke at the first Music Tourism Convention held in the United States in 2017. Her efforts have taken the Delta Heritage Center from a tourist information center to a music heritage destination attracting more than 30,000 visitors a year and is a partner site along the Americana Music Triangle.
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