The Tennessee Tourism Committee was initiated by Governor Haslam to develop sound ways that the state can substantially improve and increase its visitor base from current levels. Governor Haslam intended to include both the private (i.e. Dollywood, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc., Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc., formerly known as Gaylord Entertainment Company) and public (i.e. CVBs, tourism associations) organizations. In doing so, the tourism industry is well represented on the committee across every region of the state.
The committee met every month for the first seven months of 2013 to create the strategic plan. To do so, the consulting firms of Reach Market Planning and Western Management Consultants were engaged to guide the committee through the planning process. Below is an overview of the process and the key highlights of the strategic plan.
Tennessee Tourism Strategic Planning Process
In general, the process started out in a very unconstrained way where the committee asked itself, “What does the state’s tourism aspire to be and what do we stand for?” The result was the creation of the industry redefined Vision and Mission Statements.
Tennessee Tourism Vision
Given the state’s rich history and authentic roots in music, it is only fitting that our vision as an industry should be to aspire as the global music destination of choice. Many could argue that music is the one thing that is shared all over the world and transcends cultures, race and color. In Tennessee, some of the worlds largest musical icons (both of yesterday and today) are deeply rooted in Volunteer State. Going forward, this vision statement will serve as the “guiding light” for all creative advertisements and desired outcomes put forth by the committee, state and industry as a whole.
Tennessee Tourism Mission
Given the state’s unique assets, diverse history and scenic beauty, the state’s tourism industry is well positioned to enter into the top ten U.S. states in terms of total expenditures. Most recent data from the US Travel Association ranks Tennessee at 18th among the 50 states.
U.S. Travel Rankings
Based on this most recent data, if Tennessee were to surpass New Jersey in terms of total expenditures, the Volunteer state would record an incremental increase of nearly $4-billion or 26%. Given the increased unity among the industry, increased travel both nationwide and around the globe, an additional $8-million in marketing funds and continued strong support from Governor Haslam, it is very plausible for the state to meet this mission over the next five years.
In addition to these key components of the strategic plan, the committee also created values and principles for itself and the industry. These values and principles serve as the parameters in which the committee operates and interacts with each other, the state, industry, legislators, civic leaders, media and its guests.
Tennessee Tourism Values
It is with these values that the committee and industry conducts and presents itself to all stakeholders in Tennessee’s tourism industry. The guiding principles represent how the committee conducts itself within meetings, conferences and working together to realize our industry’s vision and mission.
Tennessee Tourism Guiding Principles
After formulating the key high-level ingredients that will enable the industry to work together towards a shared goal, the committee moved to conducting an environmental scan that was facilitated by the consultants and supported by the numerous research assignments the committee had conducted over the past year. This environmental scan led to the identification of five key strategic priorities, or pillars. The relationship between the industry’s vision and the five strategic pillars is best depicted on the image below.
Tennessee Tourism Strategic Pillars
Each of these strategic pillars represent a critical component to the state’s industry. Whether it be increasing airlift into the state via the Accessibility committee, or effectively measuring marketing campaign ROI via the Knowledge Driven subcommittee, these five pillars encompass every aspect of tourism in Tennessee. After identifying each pillar, the committee developed the subsequent desired key results and the accompanying strategies to meet each key result that will fulfill each pillar. The detailed key results and strategies are highlighted at the end of the strategic plan. To request a copy of the plan, please contact the committee by clicking here. Please note that for reasons related to confidentiality, the committee decided not to make the report available online so as to deter the state’s competitors from reading the plan. However, please contact the committee to confirm your affiliation with tourism in Tennessee and we will gladly forward you a copy via email.
After presenting the plan to the industry during the 2013 Governor’s Conference on Tourism, the committee entered into the execution phase of the plan. To do so, the committee has broken out into five subcommittees – one for each strategic pillar. Each subcommittee has a committee chair and co-chair who are identified below.
Biographies of each subcommittee chair and co-chair can be found by clicking here. It is at this critical juncture when we need your help and feedback. Please review the plan in detail and contact the committee or subcommittees to contribute your ideas, research and feedback.