Commissioner Susan Whitaker Biography
The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development is one of the leaders among state organizations in the United States tourism industry. In 2011, Tennessee's tourism generated a $15.36 billion economic impact to the state's economy. The largest single increase we have seen year over year. More than 177,800 Tennesseans are now employed in the state's tourism industry. Payroll generated by direct travel spending reached $5.4 billion in 2011. Tennessee's overnight and day-trip visitors provided $1.17 billion in state and local sales tax revenues which accounts for another billion in tax revenues for the sixth consecutive year.
The department's marketing activities promote Tennessee to vacationers in the United States as well as internationally.
The department also operates 14 Welcome Centers along the interstate highway system in Tennessee. Each of the Welcome Centers is equipped with a toll-free telephone system allowing travelers to make hotel, motel, and campground reservations anywhere in Tennessee.