Tennessee Celebrates National Travel And Tourism Week

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and partners from the state’s $16.16 billion tourism industry are joining forces during National Travel and Tourism Week, May 3-11, encouraging Tennesseans to reverse an alarming national trend and enjoy all of their paid time off this year.

According to statistics culled from the Social Security Administration and a study conducted by Oxford Economics, Americans forfeit more than $71.6 billion in paid time off each year—leaving 429 million days of vacation time on the table—the equivalent of more than three days per worker per year.

Research shows workers who forego paid time off are less productive at work, and experience greater stress in their relationships than those who take their hard-earned vacation time to relax and recharge.

In response to busy lifestyles that often shorten the time available to plan and get away, volunteers from Tennessee’s 146,200-person tourism workforce will assemble at the 13 Tennessee Welcome Centers providing an extra-special welcome to Tennessee travelers.

Complimentary copies of the 2014 Tennessee Vacation Guide, featuring native Tennessean Justin Timberlake, and 2014 Official Transportation Maps from TDTD and the Tennessee Department of Transportation will also be available. Travelers can order Vacation Guides online at www.tnvacation.com or by calling 800 453-8366.

“Tennessee offers thousands of affordable getaways that are close to home and ideal for anyone trying to balance a busy schedule,” said Commissioner Susan Whitaker, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. “Tennesseans are among the hardest-working people in America, but it’s important that we get out, relax and enjoy this beautiful state. We look forward to helping folks make the most of their hard-earned vacation time this year.”

Tourism is one of Tennessee’s largest industries, generating $1.24 billion in state and local sales tax revenues in 2012. In Anderson County, travelers spent a total of $114.69 million in 2012, generating $6.59 million in state and $2.43 million in local sales tax revenues. A total of 920 county residents are employed in the tourism industry, earning a total of $18.86 million.

National Tourism Week is an initiative of the U.S. Travel Association, a national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.0 trillion in economic output and supports 14.6 million jobs. U.S. Travel’s mission is to increase travel to and within the United States.

“It is now empirical, rather than just anecdotal, that travel is a key driver for improving individual health and strengthening our businesses and economy,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, the umbrella organization representing the U.S. travel industry. “Travel holds measurable benefits for our minds, bodies, relationships, businesses and economy. Travel should be celebrated every day."

Unique Family Getaways: Perdido Key Pirate Fest

No black flags fly above the clear turquoise waters of Perdido Key these days. Most of the time, the only pirates who frequent these parts are the Pirates of Lost Treasure, a local Mardi Gras krewe. However, all that will change on Oct. 25-26, when an eager horde of buccaneers will descend on the shores of Big Lagoon State Park for two fun-filled days of family piracy. ... (click for more)

TVRM’s Historic Steam Locomotive #4501 Is Ready For Tennessee Valley Railfest

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM) on Wednesday announced the return of its iconic Steam Locomotive 4501 to operation. TVRM has been restoring Locomotive 4501 over the past three  years and she will make her public debut at Tennessee Valley Railfest on Sept. 6 and 7.  The locomotive last ran in 1998 and has patiently waited for a complete overhaul.  ... (click for more)

Rhasean Lowry, 34, Charged In Death of 3-Year-Old Girl

Rhasean Lowry, 34, was arrested for abusing a three-year-old girl, and then criminal homicide after she died. Last Tuesday, the Chattanooga Police Department was called on a suspected child abuse case. Lowry took the victim to a local hospital and he stated the victim fell down steps. Doctors advised that the victim’s injuries were the result of blunt force trauma consistent ... (click for more)

City IDB Member Who Made Motion For $9 Million Black Creek TIF Had Not Lived In City For Years

A City Industrial Development Board (IDB) member who made the motion to approve a controversial $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) had not lived in the city for years, City Attorney Wade Hinton confirmed. Chris Ramsey, a BlueCross BlueShield official, was not present at an IDB meeting on Tuesday morning. Five other board members were. Citizen Helen Burns ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)