2010 National Travel and Tourism Week

Wednesday, May 05, 2010 | 11:05am

NASHVILLE - National Travel and Tourism Week will take place throughout the country May 8-16. This year’s theme for the week is “Stand Up and Be Counted,” as cities and travel businesses nationwide rally in support of the industry’s impact on local communities and states.


And, in spite of the challenging circumstances in a number of cities and counties in parts of Tennessee, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development has announced that many tourism sites throughout the state will participate in this important national event.


Tennessee tourism generates $14.4 billion in economic impact and continues to be a major economic driver for the state. Tourism employment in Tennessee provides more than 180,000 jobs and welcomes more than 50 million visitors annually. Now, more than ever, Tennessee’s tourism industry needs to “Stand Up and Be Counted.”


Many of Tennessee’s major tourism destinations, including Memphis, Chattanooga, Knoxville, the Smoky Mountains, and Northeast Tennessee, as well as many other cities and counties, are without incident and 100 percent open for business. Tennessee’s 14 Welcome Centers, also open and completely operational, will be on the front lines of leading the National Travel and Tourism Week events.


Even in cities hardest hit, tourism partners are moving forward quickly to open attractions and keep Tennessee’s traveling public well served. The Grand Ole Opry made sure the 'Show must go on!' and made Opry magic happen Tuesday night (May 4) for an enthusiastic audience, despite major obstacles and a last-minute venue change.  In its 85th year, the Grand Ole Opry will continue all shows, including its regular schedule during National Travel and Tourism Week. Visit http://www.opry.com/ for details.


On May 14, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development will host an Official Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to open the state’s newest welcome center. The Unicoi County Welcome Center on Interstate 26 near Erwin is a brand new Welcome Center location, the first on I-26. In addition, the state takes advantage of travel and tourism week with the launch of the Sunny Side Trail, the second trail to be launched in the Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways program. Events surrounding this launch will be held on May 13 in Sevierville and on May 14 in Greeneville and Bristol.


A number of the 14 welcome centers will host representatives and mascots from popular tourism attractions who will greet travelers with refreshments, brochures, coupons, local music and Tennessee hospitality. Make plans to meet tourism partners from Pigeon Forge’s Dixie Stampede, Tennessee’s award-winning state parks and more.


Knoxville tourism organizations are teaming up with West Town Mall to showcase area attractions to local residents and tour operators. Join local tourism professionals in Memphis for “The Faces of Memphis Tourism” celebration, including a parade down Beale Street, a community cleanup and more.


National Tourism Week was established in 1983 when the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution designating the week to be celebrated in May 1984. In a White House ceremony, President Ronald Reagan signed a Presidential Proclamation urging citizens to observe the week with “the appropriate ceremonies and activities.”


For more information about welcome center activities during Tourism Week, contact the Department of Tourist Development’s Director of Welcome Centers, Barry Young, at (615) 741-9035 or at Barry.W Young@tn.gov.


For more information about the Sunny Side Trail launch, contact Melissa Scism at the Tombras Group at mscism@tombras.com or (423) 915-1266.


For the latest tourism happenings in Tennessee, visit us at www.tnvacation.com, http://www.facebook.com/tnvacation, www.mytnstory.com or http://twitter.com/tnvacation/.





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