Tenn. Tourism Industry Grows

Tennessee’s tourism industry grew by $1 billion last year, with all 95 counties seeing an increase in tourism dollars—something that hasn’t happened in 8 years.

Speaking in Goodlettsville today, state tourism commissioner Susan Whitaker says the momentum from last year should continue.

Witaker says a recent state tourism commercial, featuring Dolly Parton inserted into old footage of Elvis Presley driving a convertible, has boosted attention to the state.

“…such a wonderful kind of just gift that we were given with the press that came out when we released the Dolly-Elvis spot. That just seemed to catch the public imagination and became a story that went around the world, and that press sent people to our website where then people could find out all the other things to do in Tennessee.”

The commercial garnered national press and since the state’s tourism website was the only place that offered the commercial online for those who missed it on TV, tnvacation.com received a surge in visits.

A Google search of “vacation” still puts the site in the top 10 results because of the exposure.

This year the state plans to spend more than $5.5 million on mostly TV ads, but also print, online and radio spots aimed at vacation planners.

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