2013 Tennessee Vacation Guide Arrives
2013 Tennessee Vacation GuideThe new 2013 Official Tennessee Vacation Guide is “hot off the press” – and copies are already on their way to help inspire travelers to choose the state as the site of their next vacation.
Building on the momentum of last year’s improved publication, the 2013 guide once again promises to be a powerful, effective resource to draw even more visitors to Tennessee. Featuring a striking cover showing a family enjoying some of Tennessee’s many charms, the state’s primary travel fulfillment piece tells the world … “We’re Playing Your Song!”
The front of the guide is anchored by a 16-page photo essay showcasing all aspects of the state’s travel industry, followed by engaging features written by Tennessee travel writers, information on annual events and festivals, regional profiles, best bets, business listings and more.
New this year are sections highlighting the state’s seasonal vacation contests, a roundup of the many ways consumers can stay connected with Tennessee throughout the year and, coming soon, a dynamic iPad version of the guide that will offer additional rich media and interactive content, as well as links to all advertisers.
2013 Brings New Exhibits, Attractions and Milestones to Tennessee
New and exciting exhibits, attractions and events for 2013 are enhancing Tennessee’s thriving tourism industry, along with commemorative anniversaries that remember the past, celebrate the present and bring hopeful anticipation for the future. The “What’s New in Tennessee for 2013” press release announcement was distributed to all national travel media as well as the statewide media to bring Tennessee tourism top of mind for the New Year.
Music City Center, NashvilleIn Middle Tennessee, the Emancipation Proclamation comes to the Tennessee State Museum Feb. 12 – 18, 2013, and will only be available for viewing for 72 hours during that week. Music City Center, Nashville’s new convention center, is slated to open spring 2013. The building features 1.2 million square feet, including a 350,000 square foot exhibit hall, a 57,000 square foot grand ballroom, 90,000 square feet of meeting room space and 32 loading docks. Also, coming to Nashville, The Johnny Cash Museum, featuring the most comprehensive collection of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia in the world, is scheduled to open in the spring of 2013.
British artist Bruce Munro’s exhibit “Light,” a breathtaking display of tens of thousands of blown glass balls and fiber optic lights, will open at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. In Murfreesboro, Oaklands Historic House Museum was just marked by the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities. GRAYs on Main, in Franklin, a new restaurant and live music venue, takes inspiration from Southern Foodways, including the cuisine of the Carolinas and the Low Country, is slated to open early 2013.
In East Tennessee, The Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster featuring 60 individual sleds that travel up the side of a mountain, then wind downhill for one mile at up to 25 miles an hour, anticipates opening early 2013. Dollywood’s Splash Country in Pigeon Forge opens RiverRush, Tennessee’s first and only water coaster in May 2013.
The Old Oak Festival, a community and regional fine arts festival in Greeneville, returns to Tusculum College after a 20-year hiatus. Also new this year, “Scholars then Soldiers: Tusculum College and the American Civil War,” is on display through 2015. Doe Mountain, an 8,600 acre pristine mountain range in Johnson County, will open in 2013 featuring over 22 miles of hiking, biking, horseback riding and OHV trails.
In West Tennessee, Graceland in Memphis will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Elvis Presley’s “Aloha from Hawaii” and “Elvis: Viva Las Vegas” opening in March 2013, where visitors will experience Las Vegas through the eyes of Elvis Presley, from the first time he stepped foot on stage in Las Vegas through his triumphant return in 1969. Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World retail complex will open in Memphis in the Pyramid late 2013. The complex will feature a restaurant, aquarium and zip-lines, as well as a new 200-room hotel and marina on the banks of the Mississippi. Memphis International Raceway’s new ownership and management brings a new vision to the versatile racing facility including the Hot Rod Power Tour in 2013.
In Jackson, the Providence House, one of the oldest Antebellum homes in West Tennessee, is now open as an event venue as part of Casey Jones Village. The Village Chapel, the 100 year-old church from Haywood County, will be open to the public daily while also hosting weddings and Gospel singings.
The Discovery Museum of West Tennessee features the “Road to Shiloh” exhibit. Flagg Grove School, childhood school of Tina Turner, has been moved to The Discovery Park of America, Union CityWest Tennessee Delta Heritage Museum in Brownsville. Restoration is underway with a tentative opening date of June 2013. The Morton Museum of Collierville History is now open and the historic Denmark Church is now open after a complete renovation and features a Civil War exhibit. Discovery Park of America, an entertainment and cultural complex in Union City, opens summer 2013.
Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area opened a new 9-mile bike/hike trail along US68/KY80 between the Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley bridges. LBL recreation area will celebrate its 50th anniversary June 2013.
Point Park, ChattanoogaMilestones for 2013 include the 150th anniversary of the Civil War battles for Chattanooga at the Chickamauga Chattanooga National Military Park, with the official Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Signature Event taking place in Chattanooga October 9-12. The Battle of Collierville and Stones River in Murfreesboro also commemorate the 150th. Johnson City’s Hands On! Museum is turning 25 and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music celebrates its 10th, with events beginning in early spring. Ober Gatlinburg, Tennessee’s only ski resort, celebrates 50 years of fun in the Great Smoky Mountains.
2013 marks the 175th Anniversary of the Trail of Tears. Noteworthy Trail of Tears sites in Southeast Tenn. include Ross’ Landing in Chattanooga, Red Clay State Park in Cleveland along with others. Tennessee has 12 national Trail of Tears sites throughout the state.
Please keep us informed on new openings in your area throughout 2013.
7th Annual TACVB Blizzard Jan. 31 and Feb. 1
Don’t miss the 7th annual TACVB Blizzard Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Murfreesboro. This mid-winter educational conference will feature topics and speakers designed to motivate and inspire tourism professionals responsible for bringing visitors to Tennessee.
Commissioner Susan Whitaker is scheduled to bring a keynote address “Tennessee Tourism Today,” during Thursday’s opening luncheon. Additional highlights for the 2013 conference include: Ashley Capps of AC Entertainment presents “Lessons Learned from Bonnaroo,” Jay Salyers, senior VP of Miles, discusses “Focusing on Responsive Design and Smart Content,” and the marketing team of TDTD brings a group discussion and Q&A session. Tourism champion Dr. Steve Morse of the University of Tennessee shares ideas for celebrating Tourism Week in your hometown, and much more.
TACVB’s affiliate members will also be there to introduce products and services, as well as to offer tips for better business outcomes.
Along with our presenting sponsor, MILES, we look forward to seeing you in January.
For more information, contact Sheila Leggett, 615/254-1233 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Your Calendar for Tennessee Tourism Industry Events
Tennessee Tourism is getting busy in 2013! Please mark your calendars for these important industry events.
HOLD THE DATES: Tennessee Sampler Express - March 19-22, 2013 Destination: Atlanta Metro Region
The Tennessee Sampler Express is back once again, with high expectations of taking Tennessee Tourism’s sales and PR messages to travel buyers and travel journalists.
Save the date! This grassroots and economical approach to conducting sales and PR calls garners results year after year. There is no registration fee. Personal travel expenses include hotel, meals and the cost of rental vehicle split among the team or personal airline flights. Each team will have a team captain who will help secure the sales and PR calls and facilitate all logistics. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks!
January 17 - Check Your Inbox For Special Edition Marketing eNewsletter
In order to allow tourism partners to maximize their participation level with the marketing opportunities provided by the department, TDTD will distribute a special marketing eNewsletter on January 17 that outlines both the print and digital partnerships available. The goal is to increase awareness of the department’s marketing programs, as well as provide instant access to relevant, marketing content.
Jan. 27-30, 2013 - Tennessee Motor Coach Association - Knoxville, Tenn.
TMCA includes 30 motor coach operator members representing more than 600 Tennessee coaches and 18 affiliated operators from the eight bordering states. Associate membership has grown to more than 290 industry-related companies/organizations from across the U.S. and Canada.
For more information, visit tnmca.net.
Jan. 31 - Feb. 1, 2013 - 7th Annual TACVB Blizzard - Murfreesboro, Tenn.
“Making the Most of Tourism Week 2013,” by Dr. Steve Morse is just one of the dynamic programs planned for the conference. Leave this session with the five best practices used by communities to highlight tourism during National Tourism Week. TACVB - Blizzard will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center in Murfreesboro.
To register or for more information, contact Sheila Leggett at 615-254-1233 or email@example.com.
Feb. 17-20, 2013 - Travel South Showcase - Little Rock, Arkansas
Travel South USA is a regional partnership that serves as an information source for tour operators, retail travel agents, journalists and other travel professionals promoting travel to and within the southeast. It is the only regional marketplace focused solely on the cultural, musical, artistic and culinary heritage of the South.
For more information, visit travelsouthusa.org.
January Kicks-Off Busy Sales Season
Happy New Year, fellow industry partners! End of the year for Tennessee tourism concluded with participation in the annual Midwest Band Clinic, held in Chicago, Illinois, to promote our partners and venues to the student band and youth performance market. In addition, walking the trade show floor resulted in over fifteen, one-on-one meetings with tour operators focused on the student group market. They were appreciative of the attention and updated information, and the time with them was productive for both supplier and buyers. In attendance this year were delegates from Clarksville, Nashville, Gaylord Attractions, and Graceland.
Midwest Band Clinic Conference in ChicagoJanuary for the Department will be busy, with attendance at ABA Marketplace in Charlotte, NC, and NTA/Travel Exchange, in Orlando, FL, then concluding with Tennessee Motor Coach Association in Knoxville.
Again, we will host a Tennessee dinner for the dine-around night at NTA/Travel Exchange. If you are interested in participating in the dinner event, be sure to return the dinner participation form to us as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please contact Bennjin at Bennjin.Lao@tn.gov. As always, thank you for your continued partnership and support. We look forward to a wonderful and successful 2013 sales year with you!
Travel Trends for 2013
What’s in the travel cards for 2013? The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development’s Research Office has reviewed the predictions and compiled the following list of travel trends and concepts to watch for in 2013.
The Changing Consumer:
Boomers, as they reach retirement, are spending less, and younger affluents are starting to enter the market. Travel and Leisure report urges the industry to get ready because the millennials are coming and they are hitting the road in increasing numbers. Travel companies are positioning themselves to take advantage of these independent-minded, digital-savvy twenty- and thirty somethings eager to see the world.
Forbes also observed that younger affluents are a trend worth noting. Not only are older Gen X-ers, ages 40-55, spending more on high-end travel, but younger Gen X and even Gen Y adults are spending more on travel, often with their young children. What’s interesting about this younger market is that they are the same market that consumes the lion’s share of social media, and social sharing seems to be driving their vacation choices. A recent article in The Telegraph makes it clear that affluent travel is less about luxury and more about the cool pics you can post to Instagram.
According to Cox and Kings’ expert destination managers, “Authentic, life‐changing moments are still high on travelers’ priorities list, and — with this age’s tech savvy — sharing these moments instantly with those back home is more convenient and exciting than ever, creating a rich, dynamic dialogue about travel and new cultures.”
Adventure and Storytelling Travel:
Adventure and storytelling travel are growing in popularity according to Mediapost.com. Travel, and the way the traveler undertakes it, has long been a mark of status – where and how one chooses to travel is a statement of identity. However, this new abundance and increased accessibility doesn’t mean travelers have stopped seeking experiences that express their interests and affirm their status. Rather, it has changed the metrics with which status and traditional travel are defined. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to see people expressing their identity through the stories attached to their travels. This is because stories focus on experiences, and these stories are more compelling when those experiences are interesting, obscure, scarce or unique. As travel opportunities become more varied, kudos is being awarded to those who stray off the well-beaten path and experience something different.
Cox and Kings notes five years ago, during the first wave of smartphones, the travel industry could not have anticipated the effect posting; liking, picture‐taking, videoing, repinning and sharing would have on how consumers experience their journeys. Today, one needn’t fret on where to buy the best postcard — tweeting a picture or simply sharing one on Instagram drives the “Wish You Were Here!” message more effectively. Sharing instantly allows travelers to give to‐the‐minute updates on where they are, illustrating exciting on‐the‐ground experiences as they happen — a real‐time guide book, of sorts. Following this theme, Travel and Leisure states connectivity will continue to play a major role in this year’s travel innovations, among them: better mobile maps; electronic wallet app, Passbook; and in-flight Wi-Fi. Also be on the lookout for a new device, the “laplet,” an innovative hybrid that combines touchscreen computing with full laptop capability.
About.com reports the idea of combining travel and dining adventure is certainly not new, but is gaining popularity. For example, travelers can now pay for a 2.5 hour cooking demonstration that also introduces you to the culture and history of a destination. As you watch the chef reveal cooking techniques, you learn. Then you eat a fine meal. All for the cost of a nice dinner.
Experiential travel is also growing in popularity. Consumers don’t want the same thing as everybody else, according to Travis Katz, founder and CEO of Gogobot, a travel-related social network. Everyone’s an individual, they like choice. On top of that, consumers are very, very time constrained and price sensitive. In 2013 Gogobot will focus on how to make experiential travel preferences easier to discover in order to help travel consumers make easier decisions in the mobile space. Destinations need to be aware that information overload can overwhelm consumers. Google reports mobile represented 35% of all searches in 2012; in 2013 mobile will represent 45% of all searches. These are outstanding growth rates that show 2013 will be the year of catching up to consumer behaviors.
For those young families, “fit-cations” are making a splash. All are geared toward families looking for unique vacation experiences. Vacations don't always have to pack on the pounds. In fact, fit-cations are trips that pack a (calorie) blast! So pick your favorite backdrop and cue the fun. New trends in fitness-based vacations include: river-crusing, snow-shoeing, zumba parties, snowboarding, stand-up rowing workshops and more value-added trips geared towards families. Mediapost.com
We all hear the buzzwords such as “mancations, girlfriend getaways,” however hotelexecutive.com reports that groups of friends are planning and booking more travel than ever. Over the last three years the number of unmanaged leisure group bookings by small groups of friends have increased dramatically to become a very substantial business. Friends getaways trips encompass travelers from their mid-30s on up through the young Baby Boomer segments. This is important to realize when you consider ways to reach these consumers. What does your destination offer that appeals to a group of men or women who want to get away from their workaday lives for a long weekend? Find ways to incorporate unique, fun packages and services and take advantage of your location to partner with local businesses including golf courses, spa facilities and distinctive attractions.
Meetings and events:
According to Carlson Wagonlit Travel, meetings and events held both in person and online will be explored by more companies as a way to control costs while leveraging social and other features offered by new technologies.
Another trend, according to Forbes, is River Cruising. This has long been popular with older tourists, but now it’s catching on with younger crowds, as well. In response to the new audience, tour companies are equipping their boats with wireless routers and -- for the active traveler -- bike racks.
Roads less traveled:
Still popular from last year are the roads less traveled: photos and check-ins from rural destinations will all continue in 2013. According to Cox and Kings, the opportunity to venture down old paths is enticing to travelers eager to make new discoveries along the way. Storied journeys hold enormous appeal to travelers.
RV travel popularity increases:
About.com reports RV shipments are projected to rise in 2013 representing the third consecutive year of shipment increases from manufacturer to showroom. "There's a lot of versatility in the RV market - many products, price points and how they're used," says Recreational Vehicle Industry Association President Richard Coon. The chief market for RVs is baby boomers, who like that versatility and the ability to get back to nature with a measure of comfort that exceeds tent camping.
Sources: Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Forbes, Travel and Leisure, About.com, Cox and Kings, Mediapost.com, Hotelexecutive.com, Gogobot.com, and Google.com.
Tnvacation.com Provides Marketing and PR at Your Fingertips!
Update Your Partner Page Now
Tnvacation.com, the award-winning official tourism website of the State of Tennessee, boasts more than four million unique visitors to the site annually. These online Tennessee travel information seekers come to the website to explore the state electronically. From there, many will make a decision to convert to Tennessee vacationers and decide to explore Tennessee on the ground, rather than from a chair.
Providing up-to-date, pertinent travel details is essential for visitors to the site. A team of creative and IT professionals work meticulously to make tnvacation.com a trusted, relevant resource for visitors to the site.
Some of the most important marketing and PR services provided to Tennessee’s travel industry partners are via tnvacation.com. Keep reading for a list of highlights and important information about updating your individual attraction pages, events, T3 deals, vacation guide listing, and submitting press releases. Update now to provide your travel information to four million potential customers!
Tnvacation.com Industry Partner Opportunities:
- Individual Partner Page for all Tennessee Tourism Attractions
- Tennessee Events Calendar
- T3 – Tennessee Travel Tuesdays
- TDTD News Bureau for Press Release Submission and Distribution
- Official Tennessee Vacation Guide FREE Listing
Easy Access To Update Your Information Now:
Use the Industry Partner Portal to access your individual account by going to http://www.tnvacation.com/industry/ - follow the prompts.
- For specific instructions on accessing your Partner Page Portal:
- Go to http://www.tnvacation.com/industry/
- Scroll down to Website and PR Resources
- Step by Step Instructions: Click on Partner Page User Guide 2012 for “Editing Partner Page”
- Next Pages: Click on Partner Page User Guide PR & Guide Insert
If you need assistance, please contact a TDTD marketing representative or plan to attend a Web Training Seminar to be announced in early spring.
Winter fun at Ober Gatlinburg, turning 50 in 2013.