Rural Tourism and Destination Development

Visitation and the economic impact of tourism continued to grow in Tennessee’s rural areas in 2021. As a result, the state legislature supported and passed $2.1 million in recurring funding to allow TDTD to take a multi-year approach to provide planning and educational, financial, and destination development program development for Tennessee’s distressed and at-risk counties. We are excited about the programs and initiatives that will be launched in 2023. Here are a few current offerings for our rural tourism partners:


Tourism Roadmap Work Sessions

This planning initiative is offered to county leaders and tourism partners in rural counties to assist in the creation of planning documents to guide tourism efforts. The work sessions offer a guided discussion focused on tourism marketing and development opportunities, and includes follow-up planning documents and materials, as well as on-going support.

To learn more or to schedule a meeting, email

Google Destination Optimization Program

This educational training program offers rural partners the opportunity to conduct a Google audit analysis for tourism assets in their community. Hands-on training is provided to enhance Google listings and photography, with the goal of increasing visitation through data accuracy and completeness through Google. To learn more, click here

Rural Itinerary Program

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development is pleased to announce the launch of the Rural Itinerary Program. Helping sculpt a visitor’s experience can be challenging, and TDTD has continuously heard that there is a need for such assistance services in rural areas. To learn more about the program and application process, click here.



Scholarships and Grants

TDTD has increased the number of educational scholarships and grant offerings to at-risk and distressed counties.

To learn more about Tourism grants and educational scholarships, click here.

Rural Photography and Video Program

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development is pleased to announce the launch of the Rural Video and Photography Asset Program. Capturing quality video and photography assets can be time consuming and expensive. TDTD has continuously heard that there is a need for these services in rural areas. This technical assistance program offers rural partners the opportunity to gain a collection of photography and video assets to be used for tourism marketing efforts.

Applications will open early spring 2023.

Short-Term Rental Workshops

This training workshop is offered to current and potential short-term rental operators to provide information about vacation rental markets, laws and regulations, customer service, proper cleaning guidelines, as well as how to get started with rentals and enhance current properties. To learn more or to apply to host a  a workshop in your area, click here.

Tourism Business Marketing Toolkit

The Tourism Business Marketing Toolkit educational portal offers content covering a variety of topics, from optimizing presence in Google My Business, TripAdvisor, and Yelp to best practices for copywriting and content marketing. Login in to the portal for more information. Training Video:

Program & Toolkit Introduction Call Recording:

How to access the portal: Go to

  1. Log in using your Google account
  2. Enter the promo code TENNESSEE
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