Celebrating Another Record-Breaking Year Boosting Tennessee’s Economy
GATLINBURG, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Kevin Triplett addressed industry professionals today during the 2017 Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Hospitality & Tourism in Gatlinburg. Both thanked industry members for inspiring travel to Tennessee and congratulated them on another record-breaking year of growth; referencing economic impact numbers originally announced during an August press conference in Memphis.
“Exceeding $19.3 billion in annual economic impact, collecting $1.7 billion in sales tax revenue and providing jobs for 176,500 Tennesseans is good news for everyone in the state,” Haslam said. “The hard work of the tourism and hospitality industries continues to produce record results and dedication to boost Tennessee’s economy.”
The decision to host this year’s conference in Gatlinburg was strategic, showing full industry support in support of the continuing rebounding from the 2016 wildfires and championing the theme, “Smoky Mountain Strong!”
During his state of the industry address, Commissioner Triplett talked about the department’s support of the tourism partners in the Smoky Mountain region, which included a special television campaign targeting the Atlanta market, entitled “It’s a Great Day to be in the Smokies.” The promotion launched to aid Sevier County, which was in addition to the department’s ongoing spring initiative. TV spots were shot, edited and aired daily featuring Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Great Smoky Mountains respectively.
Commissioner Triplett provided an update on the much-anticipated statewide Tennessee Music Pathway, announcing the first phase expected to launch in summer 2018. The goal of the statewide driving tour is to inspire visitors through the preservation and promotion of the musical and cultural heritage by identifying, designating and supporting the live music scene, music events, locations and stories that make Tennessee home to “The Soundtrack of America.”
Highlights of the presentation also included a wrap-up of TDTD national marketing awards including two Clio Music Awards and two Mercury Awards, among others.
The successful launch of the Tennessee Snapchat channel with the Garth Brooks 7-Diamond Celebration Concert was among the awarded campaigns. This event garnered more than 5 million views on Tennessee’s Snapchat.
“It’s rewarding to know these campaigns were an integral part in Tennessee attracting more than 110 million visitors and an honor to be recognized by our peers for the hard work and creativity of our team and our marketing partners,” Triplett said.
The Governor’s Conference on Hospitality & Tourism is produced by the Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, and hospitality and tourism partners from across Sevier County.
“It’s an honor to work with the governor, the commissioner of tourism, and the industry to put on the largest hospitality/tourism event of the year with over 500 dedicated hospitality and tourism professionals in attendance,” said Greg Adkins, president and CEO of TnHTA. “Our industry is a driving force in Tennessee’s economy and I’m proud that our Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association team can be part of such an amazing group of dedicated professionals.”
Highlights of the conference included keynote speakers Daniel Levine, Avant-Guide Institute, and Anne Madison, Brand USA International Marketing and Strategy Insights as well as educational seminars featuring experts on a range of topics.
The Stars of the Industry Gala Thursday night marked another highlight of the conference, honoring front-line industry employees and businesses.
The Governor’s conference on Hospitality and Tourism informs, updates and inspires tourism partners from across the state through outstanding keynote speeches and educational seminars, through professional development sessions and networking opportunities.
Tourism is the No. 2 industry in the state. All 95 Tennessee counties had more than $1 million dollars in tourist spending. Nineteen counties saw more than $100 million in the economic impact of tourism. Tennessee places among the Top 10 travel destinations in the U.S. for the third consecutive year and is considered a top retirement destination.
To view the full 2016 Economic Impact Report, including county-by-county numbers, click here.
About the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
Tennessee is the birthplace of the blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll-delivering an unparalleled experience of beauty, history and family adventure, infused with music that creates a vacation that is “The Soundtrack of America: Made in Tennessee.” Tennessee’s tourism industry generates $19.3 billion in economic impact, more than $1.7 billion in state and local tax revenue and more than 176,500 tourism-related jobs.
Explore more at tnvacation.com and join other Tennessee travelers by following “tnvacation” on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube or “Tennessee” on Snapchat.