Governor’s Conference on Tourism to Be Held in Gatlinburg

Saturday, August 30, 2008 | 05:03am

Tennessee Tourism: Reaching Higher Ground

GATLINBURG, Tenn. – The 2008 Governor’s Conference on Tourism will be held Sept. 24 – 26, 2008 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center at Glenstone Lodge, 234 Historic Nature Trail. This year’s theme is “Tennessee Tourism: Reaching Higher Ground.”
This year’s event will feature internationally acclaimed speaker and author Barbara Glanz as the keynote speaker. Other highlights include educational seminars designed for all segments of the tourism industry, unbeatable networking opportunities, the State of the Industry address by Tennessee Tourism Commissioner Susan Whitaker, and the Governor’s luncheon and address.
“The Governor’s Conference is always a highlight of the year for me personally and for the Tennessee tourism industry,” said Whitaker. “This year is especially exciting as we gather in Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, as they lead-up to the 75th anniversary celebration in 2009. The conference is an important time for us to assess the economic environment and discover the latest ideas in successful tourism promotion.”
The sponsors for the 2008 Governor’s Conference on Tourism are the Tennessee Tourism Roundtable, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, Gatlinburg Department of Tourism & Convention Center, Tennessee Hotel & Lodging Association, Tennessee Attractions Association, Tennessee Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau, Miles Media, Southern Living, Meredith Travel Marketing, Hard Rock Café (Gatlinburg and Nashville), Donihe Graphics, and DanceQuest.
According to the Economic Impact of Travel on Tennessee Counties report provided by the Travel Industry Association of America, in 2006, tourism generated a $13.4 billion economic impact to the state’s economy. As Tennessee’s number one non-agricultural industry, the contribution tourism makes in employment alone is significant with more than 181,000 individuals employed in the industry.
Tennessee is home to numerous international attractions, including Dollywood, the Grand Ole Opry, Jack Daniel Distillery, the National Civil Rights Museum, the Tennessee Aquarium, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and Bristol Motor Speedway.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in America, with more than 9 million visitors annually.
The conference is open to all tourism industry partners. For information including the schedule of events and registration information, please visit the Tennessee Tourism Roundtable’s Web site at or call (615) 734-9380.

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