The New Tennessee Tourism Summer Site and Sweepstakes Encourages Travelers To Make Memories in Tennessee
TDTD’s newly launched summer microsite provides visitors with all of the information needed to make memories in Tennessee this summer as well as an opportunity to win a trip to West Tennessee.
The microsite profiles three stories highlighting Tennessee traveler experiences. The stories, “Make Summer Last,” “Make Summer Cool” and “Make Summer Happy” map out itineraries/experiences for the readers. These stories combined with great summer travel deals make planning the perfect trip to Tennessee a breeze.
Handcrafted Pewter from Tennessee Pewter in SomervilleIn addition, visitors can enter the “Making Memories in Tennessee” Sweepstakes for a chance to win an amazing trip for four to West Tennessee. New this season, the site offers a video showcasing the partners who participate in the sweepstakes. The prize includes:
- Private tour of the Tennessee Pewter Studio in Somerville, where handmade fine pewter is crafted and the winner will take home a special gift
- Three night stay for four at Lilies Bed & Breakfast in Brownsville
- Gift basket with wine from Century Farm Winery
- Tour of award-winning Tripp Country Ham in Brownsville
- Free admission for four to Tennessee Safari Park
- A meal at Backyard Barbecue in Brownsville
- Enjoy an outdoor concert and/or perform on the porch of Bluesman Sleepy John Estes' home at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center
- Free admission to Tina Turner Tribute Show
- Free guided tour of Tina Turner sites in Nutbush
- Admission for four to Rusty's TV & Movie Car Museum in Jackson
- A meal at Helen's BBQ in Brownsville
- Tour of the Historic Denmark Church and Britton Lane Battlefield in Denmark
- Movie passes to the Historic Ebeneezer Church in Mercer
- Meet the artist and tour the Mind Field, Brownsville
If you are interested in participating in a future sweepstakes through TDTD, please contact Michael Uhles at Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-532-8071.
Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways Toolkits Coming Your Way!
Over the past several years, TDTD, along with many of our tourism partners, has worked endlessly to develop and launch the 16 Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways.
The next step to launching the trails was installing wayfinding signage with TDOT. Many have been installed with more popping up each day. It’s so great to see those signs!
In addition, a redesigned website was launched allowing visitors to create their own trail, choosing between the many points of interest along each trail. The redesigned website, tntrailsandbyways.com, has allowed for regular updates to the information featured. Currently, trail project managers are working with their committees to make changes specific to each trail. This has allowed us the opportunity to reprint brochures with the most up-to-date information for those trails needing to reprint guides.
The Department of Tourist Development along with Sullivan Branding is finalizing a new toolkit of items to sustain the Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways program moving forward. We identified the kits components based off of feedback from our trail leaders, assistants and managers over the past several months. An example of these items included in the kit are window clings and metal signs for the points of interests; trail map tear sheets for welcome and visitor centers; predesigned print ads for advertising needs; and pull up banners and poster – to name just a few.
The toolkit and starter kit items will be presented to trail teams in June with the goal of having the tools out to the trail partners immediately following.
Stay tuned for more information on the Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways Toolkit roll out!
Governor’s Conference on Tourism Going “Back to the Future!”
Celebrating the past, equipping for the present, and preparing for an exciting future will be the focus of the 2013 Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Tourism, Sept. 17 – 19 in Historic Franklin.
The theme for this year’s conference, “Back to the Future!” sets the stage for three days of outstanding speakers, great professional development activities, educational seminars on cutting-edge tourism topics and practices, networking opportunities, and, yes – fun! And what better location could there be for that type of conference than Franklin, a community that is thriving today by intentionally preserving its past and effectively planning for its future.
The first day of the conference, Tuesday, Sept.17, will focus on the past, featuring a unique and exciting twist on the always popular Tourism Super Seminar (details coming soon). This year’s Super Seminar will look at specific and proven ways of turning historic assets in your community into successful tourism destinations. That night, our Franklin hosts have plans for a truly memorable and enjoyable opening night event that will feature plenty of good old-fashioned Tennessee fun!
On Wednesday, Sept. 18, the conference focus shifts to the present, with an emphasis on the latest and most effective methods of doing the work of tourism development and marketing in today’s environment. “Our goal is for conference attendees to receive useful and valuable take-aways from the conference,” said John Whisenant, executive director of the Tennessee Tourism Roundtable. “As a result, we will be offering speakers and programs that will provide practical, specific, and applicable information to help attendees do their work more effectively and successfully.”
The final day of the conference, Thursday, Sept. 19, will be all about the future. Conference attendees will receive information on trends and predictions for the travel and tourism industry, as well as on the truly exciting plans for Tennessee’s future tourism marketing programs. The conference will close with the annual Governor’s luncheon, where Governor Haslam (invited) will share his vision and plans for our industry.
Combining all of that with great networking opportunities, the annual Tourism EXPO trade show, and all kinds of fun and entertaining surprises – it’s the one tourism event you won’t want to miss!
Information on the conference, including schedule, lodging, and registration, is available on the TTR website at www.tenntourismroundtable.com. Individuals registering for the conference before July 31 receive a $35.00 per person early-bird discount.
New Civil War Trail Marker Dedicated in White House
The White House and Tyree Springs Civil War trail marker was dedicated May 10 on the west lawn at City Hall in White House.
City Mayor Mike Arnold provided opening remarks and Dr. Carroll Van West, director of MTSU Center for Historic Preservation and Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area and co-chair of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission spoke to the historical importance of the Tyree Springs trail marker in White House.
"You had troops moving through here all the time for four years large regiments, thousands of men," said Dr. Carroll Van West. “Troops created a lasting impact just being in White House without ever having a battle.”
Other elected officials in attendance were White House Alderman Dave Paltzik; White House City Administrator Jerry Herman; Robertson County Mayor Howard Bradley; Sumner County Executive Anthony Holt; State Representative Joshua Evans; State Representative Courtney Rogers; State Representative William Lamberth; State Senator Ferrell Haile.
The Tennessee Civil War Trails program is part of a five-state trails system that invites the public to explore both well-known and less-familiar sites associated with America’s greatest drama. A map is available at official welcome centers and identifies more than 250 sites in Tennessee.
A map of the trail markers can also be found at www.tncivilwar150.com or by downloading the Civil War in Tennessee iPhone app.
Visiting Travel Writers to Tennessee Attempt the Impossible
Travel writers interviewed CEO Bob Kellerman, Lodge Manufacturing, during International Cornbread FestivalBringing professional travel writers to Tennessee for the always-inspiring familiarization tour is an exercise in the impossible. Tennessee’s rich tourism offerings, including the breath-taking scenic beauty, exciting major cities and major attractions, authentic small towns and rural communities, off-the-beaten-path, one-of-a-kind Tennessee experiences, world-renown music, outdoor adventures, shopping, dining…well, you get the idea. So much to see and do, so little time.
The 2013 spring FAMs in Southeast Tennessee and Nashville and Points North attracted 36 travel writers from around the country representing national publications including New York Times, Family Circle, American Way, National Geographic Traveler, Travel Channel, Nation’s Restaurant News, Group Tour Magazine, The Miami Herald and Better Homes & Gardens.
With social media continuing its ever-increasing role in the overall PR approach, TDTD FAMS encourage SM engagement throughout the FAM. As has been the norm for some time, attending writers offer Tennessee media coverage across varied platforms, including blogs, Facebook, Twitter, online publications and traditional media.
Special thanks to all of the participating tourism partners who helped make the spring FAMS a terrific success. Both FAMS featured a 14-page itinerary to cover in just four days. And they said it was impossible! Upcoming fall FAMS are in the works with more details to follow soon. See industry events in this issue of Rhythm & News for dates.
Mountain Heights and Musical Nights Sales FAM
“Mountain Heights and Musical Nights” FAM tour visits Dixie StampedeKudos to Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism’s Joy McNealy and Kay Poole, along with their area partners, for organizing a successful “Mountain Heights and Musical Nights” FAM tour, May 1 – 3. Attended by 28 tour operators and group planners, who represented 19 companies from all over the U.S. and Canada, their time spent in Pigeon Forge was shorter than some had hoped, but the itinerary was more than full. Many Pigeon Forge attractions and hotels even hosted a mini-trade show to welcome and meet with the FAM participants, and discuss opportunities for future tour groups and bookings.
Thank you to those partners who submitted information for our semi-annual update of our Sales Profile Sheet. Our next Profile Sheet revision will be November 2013, so please keep us apprised of any news for consideration in the next round, which will be distributed at shows like ABA, NTA, Travel South, and TN Motor Coach.
For June, the Department, along with Chattanooga, Nashville, Grand Ole Opry Entertainment, Graceland, Pigeon Forge, Fee/Hedrick, Lumberjack Feud, and Smith Family Theater, will be in attendance at the annual Travel Alliance Partners’ TAP Dance, in Norfolk, VA. Also in June, Tennessee will be well-represented at the annual International Pow Wow Convention, held in Las Vegas, NV, promoting all our state has to offer to international tour operators and planners, as well as international media, attending from across the globe. Tennessee will have presence from the Department, along with partners in Chattanooga, Nashville, Memphis, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville.
* Age as of 2013
Millennial Summer Travel Is Down While GenX Is Up
Millennials plan to travel less this summer compared to last summer while their older counterparts are either increasing or maintaining planned summer leisure travel levels according to a national survey by D.K. Shifflet & Associates. It remains to be seen whether this Millennial decline is actually an overall reduction in travel or simply a shifting of travel to shoulder seasons when travel prices are lower.
“Last year we saw quite a bit of optimism among Millennials in terms of their leisure travel intentions, notes Chris Klauda, Vice President at D.K. Shifflet & Associates. “One can speculate that perhaps economic reality is setting in for Millennials and they cannot afford to travel as much or they are now employed and have less time to travel.” The good news for travel marketers is that GenX and Boomer summer travel intentions are positive which bodes well for a successful summer season.
The increase in GenX planned summer leisure travel comes with strings attached. While GenX travelers plan to travel more days, they do not plan to spend more money compared to last summer according to the DKSA report. Travel marketers should be sensitive to this price conscious GenX generation when planning summer promotions.
Utilize: Stills - Video And Motion
In recent months, TDTD’s digital agency, Designsensory, has incorporated custom images and video into several new Tennessee tourism promotions. The Behind the Scenes Video with our Tennessee Family, showcased on the cover of the 2013 Vacation Guide and Ipad app; Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways App video; and the Make Summer Hot: Making Memories in Tennessee Summer Sweepstakes video; are the most recent projects, all of which can be found on youtube.com/tnvacation. In addition, custom lifestyle images were shot by Designsensory for the summer.tnvacation.com seasonal microsite.
Why is this important?
First, it’s crucial to carry branding across all media, with content that reinforces the brand at every turn.
Second, the statistics are staggering: Web video keeps visitors on websites longer, boosts sales and minimizes buyer dissatisfaction. According to studies by Internet Retailer, 52 percent of consumers say that product videos help them feel more confident about their online purchases, and 66 percent will watch a particularly informative video more than once. And, visitors who have watched a video are as much as 174 percent more likely to buy than those who have not.
BizChair.com has tracked 33 percent of the company’s online sales to just 13 percent of its visitors—those who watched the online videos. Smartphone companies have tied video to increased sales in a very specific—and convincing—fashion. One million video views usually translates to 1.2 million units sold in the 12 weeks after a new product launch. Video is important to search engine optimization as well, since videos appear in about 70 percent of the top 100 listings for a search.
So, how will you incorporate video into your brand?
For still photography, video and motion expertise, contact Designsensory at 865-690-2249.
Want to share your video with TDTD, contact Melanie Beauchamp at Melanie.email@example.com.
Source: DS Blog: http://designsensory.com/blog/still-video-motion
Robert Hamsley, WWII hero and proud Tennessean, was recently awarded the Silver Star. Hamsley is pictured on his 94th birthday with Deputy Commissioner Wendell Cheek, TN Dept. of Veterans Affairs; Gail Hughes, Lawrence County Tourism; Derrick Smith, TDTD.