Chamber to host state tourism commissioner in Brentwood
By Carole Robinson, Senior Staff Writer
The Governor’s Conference on Tourism wraps up today in Franklin with more than 200 tourism professionals from across the state treated to three days at Williamson County’s most frequented venues. A seminar at the Franklin Theatre Tuesday hosted by Theatre Director Dan Hays and Mary Pearce of the Heritage Foundation gave an overview of how to utilize local treasures to promote tourism. Photo by Pam Horne
Tennessee Commissioner of Tourist Development Susan Whitaker will address the Williamson County Chamber’s Women in Business luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24 at the Brentwood United Methodist Church.
Whitaker’s speech, titled “How Tennessee Makes Dollars and Sense,” will focus on the importance of tourism in Tennessee and the economic impact it has on state and local governments.
Whitaker is a resident of Williamson County.
Tourism is one of the state’s largest industries exceeding $16.1 billion in direct economic impact for the first time in Tennessee history and generating $1 billion in state and local sales tax for the seventh straight year, said Cindy Dupree, Department of Tourism director of public relations.
“Williamson County is one of the state’s leading counties in tourism,” Dupree added.
Visitors are spending money every day with attractions, hotels, restaurants, shops and more, Whitaker told tourism professionals this week during the Governor’s Conference on Tourism hosted by the county’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
In 2012, a record-setting 92.05 million person stays, and the related spending, generated nearly 146,200 full time, part time and seasonal jobs for Tennesseans.
Gov. Bill Haslam appointed Whitaker, a Williamson County resident, commissioner in 2011.
She previously held the same position under Gov. Bredesen, who initially appointed her in 2003.
Whitaker, responsible for enticing people to visit Tennessee, oversees marketing to the tourism industry nationally and internationally.
“These numbers show that we are reaching our goal of more visitors to Tennessee, who are staying longer and spending more,” Whitaker said.
Posted on: 9/18/2013