Tennessee Department of Tourist Development presents July 2014 Rythm & News for industry partners of Tennessee
Articles Industry Trends Calendar Noteworthy Tips
A Message from
Commissioner Susan Whitaker

Dear Tourism Colleagues and Friends,

The time has finally come! I’m very happy to announce the new Tennessee tourism branding campaign launches this month, after five months of hard work, long hours and trips to every corner of the state by the TDTD team and our marketing agency, VML.

The campaign is centered on the concept and tagline – Made in Tennessee. It’s on strategy, beautiful, moving, and will take our marketing efforts to new heights. The new print ads and television commercials are stunning. After watching a rough cut of the first spot, I was blown away, thinking how blessed I am to call this amazing place home – these truly are memories that can only be ‘made in Tennessee!’

Made in Tennessee logo

The launch is the culmination of many hours of planning over the last two years by the department and the Tennessee Tourism Committee. I want to thank each of them for their invaluable insight, marketing input and commitment to developing our strategic plan for the state’s tourism industry.

Over the next six to eight weeks, we’ll be rolling the campaign out in phases. A television campaign with spots focusing on a Tennessee family vacation and the incredible natural beauty of our state will be airing in several targeted markets starting this week. Additional television commercials highlighting music and more will be added to the mix in coming weeks, as well as print ads and a digital campaign.

Though the campaign focuses on out of state markets, some of you may see television spots and online banner ads starting July 9. To make sure that everyone will be able to see the campaign, we’ll have a link in the August newsletter that will take you to a special section of tnvacation.com. There you will find key campaign components including the TV spots, digital campaign components,  media buy details, target markets, logo downloads, sample print ads and more. If you have any questions before August, please contact me or a member of the marketing team.

Also in August, I will be sharing results from our “One Minute Vacation” spring co-op campaign that ran May-June in key markets. The initial performance statistics after the first month are stellar; I’m looking forward to seeing the final report.

We are in the midst of a very busy summer season, and I am hearing great reports from Memphis to Bristol. What a gorgeous Fourth of July weekend! Not only was the weather absolutely perfect for outside fun, huge crowds from around the world joined many Tennessee communities for the festivities.

Special kudos to Gatlinburg and Nashville for their inclusion on national ’must see’ lists. Nashville was named the No. 2 ‘must see’ fireworks display, right behind New York City, by the American Pyrotechnics Association. I guess they should know… and it sure lived up to its billing with a record-breaking 210,000 people filling downtown streets to watch a great concert as well as the colorful night sky!  We are proud to have this and so many summer festivities throughout our state that draw millions of visitors and Tennesseans.

Bottom line, a booming tourism business is good news for every Tennessean. Governor Haslam said it best as he spoke at a press conference announcing a tremendous $14 million expansion of the historic Ryman Auditorium a few weeks ago, “Tourism is our second-largest industry, and in a sales-tax driven state, if we want more money for education, or to fund better social programs, or any of the things we are trying to do, it really means bringing in more sales tax dollars. The very best way to increase those sales tax dollars, quite frankly, is tourism. It has the most direct payout to the state.”

I couldn’t agree more, Governor, and we thank you for your continued great support of this industry.

Best wishes for a summer full of success!

Susan Whitaker

Featured Articles:

2014 Tennessee Sampler Announced

ChicagoChicagoPlease save the date for the 2014 Tennessee Sampler: Sept. 15-19, 2014 in Chicago!

Mark your calendars for this year’s TN Sampler, set to take place in Chicago, IL the week of Sept. 15-19, 2014.  The theme this year will bring together all things “Made in Tennessee” in an effort to correlate TN Sampler with the new Tennessee Tourism marketing campaign. The Chicago market is a great choice, as it scored very high marks on engagement rates in the preliminary results of TDTD’s recent “One Minute Tennessee Vacations” campaign.

For this year, we will once again feature the original TN Sampler format, where all teams will meet to showcase and network for a final event, currently set for Thursday evening, Sept. 18.  Tennessee Sales and PR Teams will have the option to fly into Chicago, then hub-and-spoke for client appointments, or drive to Chicago, scheduling meetings along the way. 

More details to come very soon.

Bigger and Better Than Ever: The 2014 Governor’s Conference on Hospitality and Tourism!

Nationally-known and highly sought-out speakers – Professional development seminars on a wide variety of industry-specific issues – Wonderful networking and social opportunities – PLUS – the entire Tennessee hospitality and tourism industry coming together as never before! All of that and more are in store for you at the 2014 Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Hospitality and Tourism, Oct. 8-10 in Knoxville.

This year’s conference will mark the first official industry-wide conference combining the former Tennessee Tourism Roundtable conference and the former Tennessee Hospitality Association conference. TTR and TnHA merged earlier this year to form the Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association.

“I am excited the entire Tennessee tourism and hospitality industry is going to be gathering in my home town,” said Governor Bill Haslam. “From Memphis to Mountain City and everywhere in between, this industry is a critical piece of our state's economy. Thank you for joining your partners from across the state to share ideas and best practices and help prepare us all for an even brighter future in Tennessee.”                                          

That sentiment and excitement was echoed by Susan Whitaker, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. “This year's Governor's Conference is going to bring together the many different elements of the Tennessee tourism industry: attractions, destination marketing & management organizations, lodging, dining, government and the private sector. What a great opportunity to learn and grow professionally, to celebrate the tremendous economic impact of hospitality and tourism on our state, and to showcase our new comprehensive marketing and advertising program.”

Among the highlights of this year’s conference is the caliber of the keynote and general session speakers. In addition to Governor Haslam’s annual address to the tourism industry and Commissioner Whitaker’s presentation on the state of the industry and new marketing plan, speakers will include Teri Yanovitch, former Disney Institute professional and expert on customer/visitor service who will lead the Super Seminar Wednesday, Oct.8; Inky Johnson, former University of Tennessee athlete and inspirational speaker; and the highly sought-out and internationally-recognized expert Mitch Joel, who has been called the "Rock Star of Digital Marketing" and "one of North America's leading digital visionaries."

The 2014 host city, Knoxville, is pulling out all the stops to make sure that this year’s conference is the best ever! “We are delighted to host our peers and partners from across the state for the 2014 Tennessee Governor's Conference on Hospitality and Tourism,” said Kim Bumpas, president of VisitKnoxville.  “We and our local industry partners are working hard to ensure you have a truly memorable experience while you are here. Knoxville is well-known for its beauty and friendliness, and we look forward to showcasing our lovely city and providing you with a warm and genuine East Tennessee welcome.”

A new feature of this year’s conference is discounted registration for additional persons from the same company/organization, which can provide substantial savings for those wishing to bring multiple attendees.

Complete conference information, including schedule, speaker and seminar information, tradeshow information, registration, lodging, and golf tournament  information, can be found by clicking on the “Governor’s Conference” tab at http://www.tnhta.net.

Travel South USA Strengthens Ties With Australian Traveler Market

Back row: Jennifer Littlejohn, TDTD; Geoffrey Hutton, C.E.O. Kent Marketing, Sydney; Lisa Catron, Memphis CVB; Kevin Langston, Georgia Tourism; Jonathan Lyons, Memphis CVB; Damian Horne, Singer/Songwriter, Nashville; Lee Sentell, Alabama Tourism; Liz Bittner, Travel South USA. Front row: Kim Priez, New Orleans CVB; Laurel Bennett and Deana Ivey, Nashville CVC; Mindy Shea, Visit Savannah; Brandon Barnes, Atlanta CVB; Carolyn Mears, Graceland.Back row: Jennifer Littlejohn, TDTD; Geoffrey Hutton, C.E.O. Kent Marketing, Sydney; Lisa Catron, Memphis CVB; Kevin Langston, Georgia Tourism; Jonathan Lyons, Memphis CVB; Damian Horne, Singer/Songwriter, Nashville; Lee Sentell, Alabama Tourism; Liz Bittner, Travel South USA. Front row: Kim Priez, New Orleans CVB; Laurel Bennett and Deana Ivey, Nashville CVC; Mindy Shea, Visit Savannah; Brandon Barnes, Atlanta CVB; Carolyn Mears, Graceland.Over 165 Australian trade, travel industry and media were entertained by representatives from four Southern states and five U.S. municipalities through Travel South USA, in Sydney and Melbourne over the week of June 16 – 20. This mission comes at a time when Australia’s market is thriving, and its residents are traveling significantly with six airlines providing direct flights from Australia to four U.S. hubs. The U.S. is also the No. 1 long-haul market for Australians.

An exclusive reception with Travel South USA representatives and members of top-tier Australian media was held at the Double Bay residence of the Consul General of the United States of America, Hugo Llorens, with a special performance from the Southern born musician, Damien Horn. This performance was organized by the Rhythms of the South delegation, in attendance. http://bit.ly/1lFkk0M

Tourism professionals with the Travel South USA team were also able to experience one of Sydney’s top tourism attractions, through BridgeClimb Sydney, and prior to the kick-off meeting for the week. The group experienced the 440-foot summit with 360-degree views of the city, the Sydney Opera House and the majestic Blue Mountains. The group-style experience included tourists from Brazil, the U.K. and U.S., offering an unplanned opportunity to talk about the Southern region to travelers.

By the Numbers:

  • Australia is the 10th largest inbound market to the U.S.
  • The strong AUD and increases in air capacity will continue fueling demand and growth.
  • 2013: Australians set new arrivals and spending records.
  • 2014: Australian arrivals are forecast to increase by 5% to 1.26 million.
  • 85% leisure travelers; 15% business travelers
  • Australians travel year-round to the U.S. but the most popular months are between May and December.
  • Repeat visitors: 68%
  • Average length of state: 20 nights

Airlift between Australia and the U.S.:

  • Air New Zealand: LAX
  • Delta Airlines: LAX
  • Hawaiian Airlines: HNL
  • Qantas Airways: LAX, DFW
  • United Airlines: LAX, SFO
  • Virgin Australia: LAX

Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways iPhone Apps Launch This Month

The Discover Tennessee Trails and Byways free interactive iPhone apps are launching in July. All 16 trails in the Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways initiative have been sent to Apple for review and will be available for download very soon on iTunes or by visiting www.tnvacation.com/travel-apps/.

The app project, a collaboration between app developer Designsensory, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and trail committees made up of tourism entities on each trail, began in 2012.

Each app is designed to enrich the experience for travelers on the individual trails. Each trail offers unique experiences designed to showcases tourism’s major sites, as well as off-the-beaten-path attractions, which are some of Tennessee’s greatest assets.

The iOS 7.0 platform-enabled apps equip travelers with a fully customized trail experience, allow them to find specific points of interest and share their journey with friends.

Additional features include:

  • View points of interest as a list, tiles or in a map format
  • "Favorite" points of interest to create a custom trail itinerary
  • Share points of interest on Facebook, check in to points of interest or upload a photo
  • View points of interest by category and see how many points of interest are included in each category
  • Filter points of interest by interest category including “What's Nearby,” “Food & Wine,” Nature & Outdoors,” “Attractions, Sports & Rec,” “Civil War,” “History & Heritage,” “Agritourism” or “Music & Arts”
  • View "Did You Knows?" along the trail for interesting facts about the trail's points of interest
  • Click on a point of interest to read a full description, view photos and find contact information
  • Find events along the trail throughout the year
  • Click on the trail playlist to enjoy trail-related tunes through Pandora

For more information on the Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways, visit tntrailsandbyways.com.

Register Now for Civil War Sesquicentennial Signature Event in Franklin

The 2014 Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Signature Event, “The Last Campaign in Tennessee,” will be held November 13-16, in historic Franklin, Tenn. The commemoration marks the 150thanniversary of the 1864 Battle of Franklin, and will include educational seminars, panel discussions, special tours of sites in and around Franklin and a battle reenactment. Tickets and pricing information are available online at www.tncivilwar150.com.

July Sales Update

The Department gets back on the road in July with a couple of industry shows, beginning with the Regional Meeting for the Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina Motorcoach Associations. The conference will take place in Richmond, Virginia from July 14 – 16, and in response to high demand by the associations’ membership base, pre-scheduled appointments will be occurring this year. With 27 Tennessee partner organizations taking part in this meeting, this should help facilitate more productive meetings with the operators. 

From July 27 – 31, TDTD will be exhibiting with five other Tennessee partners at the annual Southwest Music Summer Exhibition (inclusive of the Texas Bandmasters and Texas Choir Directors Assocations), in San Antonio, TX. It is the “largest summer music show in the U.S.,” and with more than two dozen student tour operators in attendance, it will give the Tennessee delegation an opportunity to network and meet to discuss potential itineraries and prospect for new customers at the same time. 

Donna Klempnow and Barbara Wolke at Oaklands HouseDonna Klempnow and Barbara Wolke at Oaklands HouseAs LouAnna Smith’s familiarization with Tennessee continues, she had the opportunity to visit with Barbara Wolke and Donna Klempnow, of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce/CVB in June. They had a full day of activities, as those Barbara and Donna escorted her from place to place, giving LouAnna a taste of the true flavor of Rutherford County, including visits to Stones River National Battlefield, Cannonsburgh Village, a meal at Jim n’ Nick’s BBQ, and concluding with a tour of Oaklands Historic House and Museum.

Lastly, it is time for the department to update our Sales Profile Sheet for the fall season. Please submit any of your organization’s attractions, events, and CVB/City updates (looking out for the next 12 to 18 months) to Bennjin at Bennjin.Lao@tn.gov, by Friday, July 25, 2014. The next several sales efforts to distribute these Profile Sheets will include the Tennessee Sampler, Ontario Motorcoach Association, and Travel South International Showcase. Please provide group tour-friendly updates that will cater to those markets. 

2015 Official Tennessee Vacation Guide Ad Sales and Listing Updates Underway

The new state marketing campaign will allow Tennessee to broaden its brand awareness enticing new visitors to come to Tennessee. The 2015 Official Tennessee Vacation Guide is more relevant than ever!

The guide will once again feature large, captivating photography and powerful, experiential copy to showcase Tennessee’s outstanding tourism offerings. 

Published by our longtime partner, Miles, the guide will include content highlighting Tennessee’s rich music legacy, the state’s great outdoors, off-beat Tennessee treasures, unique culinary experiences and our growing craft brews, distilleries and wineries.

The Official Tennessee Vacation Guide has broadened the impact to reach more travelers. The guide will once again be published as an e-guide and interactive iPad app offering additional content and rich media for readers – and additional exposure for advertisers!

PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS! Advertising sales are now underway, so don’t miss this great chance to promote your destination in the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development’s primary fulfillment piece.

Miles is constantly offering ways to maximize your dollars and exposure including bonuses and added value offerings such as QR codes, rich media in the iPad app and the Tennessee Welcome Center displays. Contact your sales representative today for more information:

Mary Steadman (Upper Cumberland and East Tennessee) –Mary.Steadman@MilesPartnership.com,  (423) 956-4330

Abbie Gristy (Middle and West Tennessee) –Abbie.Gristy@MilesPartnership.com, (731) 298-1003

UPDATE YOUR INFORMATION! Each year, we also conduct an extensive data collection process to ensure we publish the most accurate business information possible in the Vacation Guide. Representatives from Miles will be reaching out to you in the coming weeks to update your information and arrange for your free listing in the 2015 guide. As always, you can also log in to our data extranet anytime to access and update your business partner profile page at tnvacation.com/vendor/login/.

O Canada! Be Aware of New Anti-Spam Legislation When Promoting Your Destination

A new anti-spam law went into effect in Canada on July 1, which governs messages to Canadians from foreign-based sources, messages that are stored on foreign servers and accessed from Canada and messages sent to or received from a computer system located in Canada.

The Canadian government will impose fines of up to $1 million for individuals and up to $10 million for companies who violate the new laws. Even in Canadian dollars, that’s a lot of money.

The law specifically relates to Commercial Electronic Messages (CEMs), more broadly defined as an electronic message sent by any means of telecommunication that encourages participation in a commercial activity, regardless of whether there is an expectation of profit. CEMs include most forms of electronic messaging: e-mails, instant messages, SMS/text messages and certain types of social media messages (direct, not wall posts).

We strongly advise you to conduct an audit of your current marketing efforts to ensure you’re in compliance with the new laws, particularly as it pertains to gaining and documenting consent of Canadian recipients.

Please take note of the following provisions when seeking electronic relationships with Canadian customers. Marketers are now required to:

  • Disclose who is sending the CEM and/or on whose behalf the message has been sent;
  • Provide the reasons for seeking consent (for example, sending newsletters, coupons, geo-location tracking or offers from affiliates); and
  • Provide contact information (name, address, Website, physical address and phone number), enabling recipients to “readily contact” marketers.

Please note: pre-checked consent boxes are no longer allowed.

Existing sender/recipient relationships, in which the sender and recipient have been conducting business and/or the recipient has provided his contact information but the recipient has never provided explicit consent to receive the sender’s CEMs, will expire in 24 months, at which time the sender must receive express consent from the recipient.

For more information and to learn how you can ensure compliance with the new laws, please visit http://fightspam.gc.ca/eic/site/030.nsf/eng/home.

Travel South USA delegation down under L-R: Laurel Bennett, Nashville CVC; Deana Ivey, Nashville CVC; Mindy Shea, Visit Savannah; Jennifer Littlejohn, TDTD; Brandon Thompson, on BridgeClimb Sydney.

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