Committee Background

Shortly after Governor Haslam’s inauguration on January 15th 2011, Governor Haslam announced the formation and leadership of a statewide Tourism Committee chaired by Colin Reed, Chairman, President and CEO of Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (formerly Gaylord Entertainment), and co-chaired by Jack Soden, CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. and Sande Weiss of Music Road Hospitality.

Since Governor Haslam appointed the committee and its Chair and Co-Chairs, the Tennessee Tourism Committee held its first meeting at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center on September 30, 2011. Since that time, the committee met every three to four months across the state. In its initial year, the committee held Open Forums for the public to weigh-in on Tennessee tourism and its direction. After several research studies and an unprecedented sharing of visitor information, the committee delivered it’s first report, titled, “A Roadmap for Jobs, Tax Revenue & Economic Growth,” to Governor Haslam in January 2013. This led to Governor Haslam pledging an additional $8-million to promote the state beyond its borders under the condition that the committee prepares a ten-year strategic plan for tourism.

At the 2013 Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Tourism in September, the committee presented the strategic plan to the industry. The plan was widely accepted by both the industry and Governor Haslam, and the committee is now working with Commissioner Triplett of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and its marketing agency, VML, to execute plan. For more details of the plan, please click here. Please contact the committee for a copy of the committee’s first report and the strategic plan.