Governor's Conference on Tourism to be held in Murfreesboro

Wednesday, September 02, 2009 | 07:00pm

Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Tourism Strategies for Tough Times

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The 2009 Governor’s Conference on Tourism will be held Sept. 16 – 18 in Murfreesboro at Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center. This year’s theme is, “Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Tourism Strategies for Tough Times.”
President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, Roger Dow, will deliver the convention’s keynote address on the power of travel. Senior Vice President of Research, U.S. Travel Association, Dr. Suzanne Cook, will also deliver a keynote address on the topic of tourism industry trends and forecasts. Other highlights include educational seminars designed for all segments of the tourism industry, unbeatable networking opportunities and the State of the Industry address by Tennessee Tourism Commissioner Susan Whitaker.
“The Governor’s Conference on Tourism is a time to celebrate the past year’s successes and be inspired for the future with creative ideas and the latest industry trends.” said Tourism Commissioner Susan Whitaker. “Having Roger Dow and Dr. Suzanne Cook at our conference is indicative of the quality of program to be presented at this, our industry’s most important annual event.”
The conference is presented in partnership with Tennessee Tourism Roundtable, a statewide association uniting the various stakeholders involved in the tourism industry. According to Ray Ogle, TTR’s chairman of the board, “Tennessee Tourism Roundtable’s mission is to unite the travel, tourism and allied industries and to promote and strengthen the tourism industry. This year is especially important, as we meet together and strategize about how to weather these tough economic times.”
According to the Economic Impact of Travel on Tennessee Counties Report provided by U.S. Travel Association, in 2007, tourism generated a $14.2 billion economic impact to the state’s economy. Latest statistics indicate that Tennessee tourism brings more than 50 million visitors to the state.
Because sustainable tourism is one of the industry’s most important issues, this year’s conference will also hold a dynamic panel discussion which will offer interaction between the moderator, speakers and the audience focusing on how to successfully implement sustainable tourism practices in a tough economy. In addition, a sustainable
tourism luncheon will be offered at 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 16, where national leaders in sustainable tourism will spread the message to our stakeholders to help keep tourism thriving in Tennessee for generations to come. This event requires pre-registration, contact Patricia Gray at
Even with all the exciting programs and activities being offered at this year’s conference, the registration fee has been lowered to $259. This includes all educational and general session programs, materials, Tourism Expo admission, and all meals excluding the Thursday night dine around.
The conference is open to all tourism industry partners. For information, including the schedule of events and registration details, visit the Tennessee Tourism Roundtable’s Web site at or call (615) 734-9380.
Tennessee is home to numerous international attractions, including Dollywood, the Grand Ole Opry, Jack Daniel Distillery, the National Civil Rights Museum, Stones River Battlefield, 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.

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