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Tennessee Travel News

2017 Vacation Guide Updates

DEADLINE EXTENDED to August 1: Vacation Guide Listings

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to feature your destination in the 2017 Tennessee Vacation Guide listings. The deadline has been extended to August 1 to be included in the listings section of the guide.

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Update Your Page on Tnvacation.com Before Feb. 15: Industry Partner Portal Temporarily Unavailable

To keep a competitive technological edge on the travel industry competition and to provide more user-friendly website options for each of our partners across the state, we are making great strides in updating to a Drupal platform for the tnvacation.com website.

The new content management system is scheduled to be ...

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Sales/Group Tour Update

From Jan. 9-12, TDTD participated in the annual American Bus Association, Marketplace in Louisville, Kentucky.  During ABA, the sales team conducted 60 appointments with tour operators from the United States and Canada. With the support and cooperative sponsorships of approximately 60 Tennessee supplier partners, TDTD also hosted the annual reception ...

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Is the Blizzard Conference on Your Radar?

The 2016 Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association’s professional development conference known as the Blizzard is forecasted to be one of the best yet and takes place Feb. 10-11 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Murfreesboro. The conference is designed to educate and inspire Convention and Visitors Bureaus ...

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2016 Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College Scholarships for Tennessee Tourism Professionals

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and Official Tennessee Vacation Guide publisher Miles are offering two full scholarships for the Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College to Tennessee tourism marketing professionals. Scholarship applications are now available with a deadline of March 10, 2016.

The STS Marketing College scholarships cover tuition, accommodations ...

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Featured Article 

2017 Vacation Guide Updates

DEADLINE EXTENDED to August 1: Vacation Guide Listings

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to feature your destination in the 2017 Tennessee Vacation Guide listings. The deadline has been extended to August 1 to be included in the listings section of the guide.
 
Affiliates in the following categories must submit listing information and the $80 payment for a basic listing no later than August 1. Highlighted listings may be purchased for $509 (free with ad purchase). Photo listings for $1,479 are also available.

  • Attractions including: Agritourism, Golf, Music & Entertainment, Outdoor Recreation, Historical Sites, Museums, Shopping, Wedding Venues, Sightseeing
  • Accommodations including: Hotels, B&B’s, Condos, Inns, Chalets, Motels, Cabins, Resorts, Cottages, Vacation Rentals, Campgrounds

Free listings are available for partners meeting the following criteria:

  • All visitors’ services - DMO’s, CVB’s and Chambers 
  • All advertisers
  • National and State Parks & Recreation Areas
  • State Historic Sites

SUBMIT YOUR PHOTOS:
To submit your destination’s images for consideration in the 2017 guide, please review the submission guidelines, then upload your images here: Kelly.Ruhland@milespartnership.com.

If you are an advertising partner or co-op partner that has purchased or is planning to purchase space in the 2017 guide, Mary Steadman or Abbie Gristy will handle the details of your listing for the 2017 Vacation Guide.

Miles Representatives:
Upper Cumberland & East Tennessee:
Mary Steadman | 423-956-4330 | Mary.Steadman@MilesPartnership.com

Middle & West Tennessee:
Abbie Gristy | 731-298-1003 | Abbie.Gristy@MilesPartnership.com

Update your partner page and event listings before Feb. 15

 

Update Your Page on Tnvacation.com Before Feb. 15: Industry Partner Portal Temporarily Unavailable

To keep a competitive technological edge on the travel industry competition and to provide more user-friendly website options for each of our partners across the state, we are making great strides in updating to a Drupal platform for the tnvacation.com website.

The new content management system is scheduled to be complete in early March. Users will be prompted at log-in once the new CMS is launched.

What does that mean for you?

As the No. 1 marketing tool for tourism in Tennessee, it is essential the site be robust and inspiring, and most importantly, easy to update, allowing the most relevant information available for potential guests.

You will soon be notified of an updated dashboard and CMS user guide for updating your destination’s partner page. The “look” of the consumer-facing site will remain the same; however what you see when logging in will be altered.

What should you do NOW?

As we make these updates to the platform and create an easier way for you to promote your attraction or destination, please be aware that the Industry Partner Portal will be UNAVAILABLE from Feb. 15 – March 1.

In order for a smooth transition, we ask that you make any possible updates, event listings, etc. to your page before Feb. 15. This will allow for all of your most up-to-date information, events, and images to be moved to the new platform.

For the current user guide, click here.

Networking during the annual Tennessee dinner at ABA Marketplace. 

Sales/Group Tour Update

From Jan. 9-12, TDTD participated in the annual American Bus Association, Marketplace in Louisville, Kentucky.  During ABA, the sales team conducted 60 appointments with tour operators from the United States and Canada. With the support and cooperative sponsorships of approximately 60 Tennessee supplier partners, TDTD also hosted the annual reception and dinner, with attendance of over 100 clients and Tennessee partners, allowing for additional networking and client meetings. 

The sales team attended the annual Tennessee Motorcoach Association convention in Kingsport Jan. 25-28.  The opportunity to meet and network with tour operators from Tennessee and several surrounding states provided positive meetings and additional business opportunities during this regional showcase, while also being able to discuss updates and new happenings with in-state partners. 

Closing out the month and heading into February, TDTD is representing the state during the annual National Tour Association Travel Exchange Convention, in Atlanta, Georgia Jan. 31 -Feb. 3. There are prescheduled appointments with tour operators, along with educational seminars and networking opportunities throughout the show.  Due to a schedule change by NTA for this year’s conference, the usual Tennessee hosted dine-around on Monday was replaced by an official NTA event. Hopefully, the next conference will allow for Tennessee to reestablish this popular evening of networking with top clients and new prospects.

For more information about these or other sales/group opportunities, contact TDTD Director of Sales Bennjin Lao

Feb. 10-11, Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center, Murfreesboro

Is the Blizzard Conference on Your Radar?

The 2016 Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association’s professional development conference known as the Blizzard is forecasted to be one of the best yet and takes place Feb. 10-11 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Murfreesboro. The conference is designed to educate and inspire Convention and Visitors Bureaus and Destination Marketing Organizations in Tennessee while offering a welcoming environment for networking and peer-to-peer resourcing.

TnHTA is working to produce a first-class event featuring noted speakers and important topics and is also introducing a “Fundamentals of Destination Management” Seminar on Feb. 9-10. This class, while open at no additional charge to any CVB/DMO registered for Blizzard, is specifically geared towards individuals who are new to their positions (less than 3 – 5 years) in the destination management industry. Designed as a “101” style of curriculum, this class will cover basic areas such as CVB/DMO function and purpose, organizational structures, financial management and funding, constituent services, research, resources, basic marketing, and programming. Advance registration is required for this class, and a minimum number of attendees will be required for the class to be offered.

Complete information, including schedule, speakers, lodging and registration can be found at www.tnblizzard.com.

Now Available: STS Marketing College Scholarship Applications 

 

2016 Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College Scholarships for Tennessee Tourism Professionals

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and Official Tennessee Vacation Guide publisher Miles are offering two full scholarships for the Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College to Tennessee tourism marketing professionals. Scholarship applications are now available with a deadline of March 10, 2016.

The STS Marketing College scholarships cover tuition, accommodations and most meals for the 2016 session.  The scholarships will be granted based on criteria like professional aptitude and future career goals established by the Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association in cooperation with Miles and the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.

The STS Marketing College is a three-year educational program for members of the tourism industry in the Southeast United States. The courses will be held May 15-20 at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, Georgia. During this week, students will experience a broad-based curriculum of courses designed to teach marketing techniques from all facets of the tourism industry. Marketing College professors are experienced professionals from across the U.S. who not only bring expertise, but real-world knowledge to the classroom.

Miles has sponsored Southeast Marketing College scholarships for Tennessee professionals for nine years.

Sample courses include: Tourism 101: A comprehensive Study of Tourism, Public Relations 101, Marketing vs. Advertising, Inquiry to Fulfillment to Conversion to Database; and Integrated Tourism Marketing Online. Students who attend three years of Marketing College receive a Travel Marketing Professional certification, presented at a special graduation ceremony at the STS spring meeting. 

In each class students receive a syllabus outlining course objectives and method of instruction. The STS application can be found here or you can contact Mary.Steadman@MilesPartnership.com or Abbie.Gristy@MilesPartnership.com to request an application.  For more information on STS Marketing College visit http://southeasttourism.org/meetings/marketing-college.

 

The Best Way to Sell Your Destination? Convince Folks to Actually Take a Vacation

It turns out the toughest part of selling vacation travel is to convince Americans to take a vacation in the first place. According to a recent survey published by Skift, more than four in ten Americans (41 percent) report they did not take a single vacation day in 2015. Not a one. Zero. Zilch. And one in six reported they took fewer than five vacation days.

Surprisingly, the online survey of 2,000 respondents conducted January 13-14 reports Millennials and members of Generation Z are the most overworked and “undervacationed” group, belying younger generations’ reputation for creating a more “right-sized” work-life balance than older Americans. Women took fewer vacation days than men and, the wealthy took more vacation days than the population as a whole.

Unfortunately, “this trend is happening amidst some heightened awareness, discussion, and movement about the need for more vacations and time off for Americans,” said Skift.

For Tennessee destinations and attractions, the course is clear: reach out early and often to prospective travelers, particularly those within easy driving distance, and encourage them to take advantage of the vacation days their employers provide, even if it’s just a three-day weekend or short family excursion.

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