2017-18 Adventure Tourism Overview

Application and Approval Process

Applications to designate an area as an Adventure Tourism District are accepted during the second quarter of each year. Applications must include a resolution from the local governing body authorizing creation of the district, a parcel map of the proposed district including parcel numbers, a business plan that must be based on “quantifiable data demonstrating that the creation of an adventure tourism district would enhance sustainable economic development in the area,” (T.C.A. § 11-11-204b) and a notarized letter from the local government mayor or executive which confirmed their plan.  An entire county cannot be designated as one district.

Applications for Adventure Tourism District designation will be accepted late spring 2017. An online website will be available during this period to receive applications. Communities interested in preparing applications for 2017 submission should consult the guidance document prepared for local governments

Note: No applicants will receive designation until after July 1, 2017 due to recent legislative action:

Taxes, Exemption and Credits - As enacted, allows certain part-time and seasonal adventure tourism jobs, with or without minimum health care, created in adventure tourism districts on or after July 1, 2017, to be counted as half a job for purposes of allowing the employer to qualify for the jobs tax credit against franchise and excise taxes. - Amends TCA Title 11, Chapter 11, Part 2 and Title 67.

Counties with Designated Adventure Tourism Districts

Districts Designated in 2015

Campbell County - 1 District
Cumberland County - 3 Districts
Decatur County - 1 District
City of Ducktown
Hardeman County - 3 Districts
Hardin County - 1 District
Henderson County - 5 Districts
City of Kingsport
Lawrence County - 7 Districts
City of Pigeon Forge
Roane County - 4 Districts
City of Spencer
Sumner County - 1 District

Districts Designated in 2014

Anderson County – 2 districts
Blount County –1 district
Carroll County – 2 districts
Grundy County – 1 district
Jackson County – 5 districts
Maury County – 1 district
McMinn County – 1 district
Overton County – 4 districts
Perry County – 2 districts
Putnam County – 6 districts
Roane County – 1 district
Scott County –2 district
Union County – 2 districts
Warren County – 2 districts
White County – 6 districts

Information for Qualified Businesses in Designated Districts 

Approval as an Adventure Tourism District allows qualified businesses that locate within the district to earn a jobs tax credit to offset a portion of the business’ Tennessee franchise and excise tax liability. The qualified business must make a capital investment of at least $500,000 and create the required number of full-time jobs. Businesses located within Tier 4 counties must create a minimum of 10 jobs, those in Tier 3 counties must create a minimum of 13 jobs and businesses located within Tier 2 counties must create a minimum of 20 and Tier 1 counties must create a minimum of 25 jobs in order to qualify. Click here for the Tier Map.

Additionally, businesses must complete a jobs tax credit business plan which must be submitted to the Department of Revenue. An online application is available.

Department of Revenue

Businesses may contact either of the following individuals at the Department of Revenue for questions and assistance in claiming jobs tax credit.

Chase Argo

Susan Amin

Businesses and local officials may contact Ramay Winchester for more information on the Adventure Tourism Program.