Governor Haslam And Tennessee Tourism Commissioner Kevin Triplett Close Out 2016 Governor's Conference

Friday, September 23, 2016

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Kevin Triplett addressed industry professionals on Friday during the 2016 Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Hospitality and Tourism in Chattanooga. Both brought words of appreciation and congratulations to industry members for another record-breaking year of growth, referencing economic impact numbers originally announced during an August press conference in Sevierville.

“Exceeding $18.

4 billion in annual economic impact, collecting $1.6 billion in state and local sales tax revenue and providing jobs for more than 157,400 Tennesseans solidifies tourism’s place as one of the most important industries in the state,” Governor Haslam said.

During his state of the industry address, Commissioner Triplett conducted a year in review, showing how the industry continuously breaks records in economic impact. He put a spotlight on the guidance of the Tennessee Tourism Committee; Tourist Development’s creative agency VML; and industry partners throughout the state,  both long-time professionals and volunteers alike, comparing them to puzzle pieces. When placed together, these entities are able to create greater impact.

“These record-breaking numbers are a reflection of the successful collaboration between the state tourism department and our partners, from the local convention and visitors bureaus to attractions, hotels and restaurants,” Commissioner Triplett said. “It’s because of teamwork with those partners, including the Tennessee Tourism Committee, that Tennessee’s story is being told, and the world is listening. It takes every piece of the puzzle. If one piece is missing that is what is noticed. When it all comes together, with all the pieces in place, there is the satisfaction of accomplishment. The numbers show what happens when the pieces fit.”

All 95 counties in Tennessee had more than $1 million in direct travel expenditures; 19 counties saw more than $100 million; and five counties—Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Shelby and Sevier—had more than $1 billion in economic impact. Tennessee is ranked in the Top 10 destinations in the U.S. for total travel.

The Governor’s Conference on Hospitality & Tourism informs, updates, and inspires tourism partners from across the state through professional development sessions, nationally-known keynote speakers and networking opportunities. New for the conference this year were Chattanooga sightseeing tours, two tradeshows and The Stars of the Industry Gala.

The 2016 Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Hospitality & Tourism is produced by the Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Greater Chattanooga Hospitality Association.

To view the full 2015 Economic Impact Report, including county-by-county numbers, visit

For more information, contact Cindy Dupree, director of public relations for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, at 615-418-5752 c. or by email at

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