Representatives of Tennessee’s hospitality and tourism industry from across the state met in Nashville on February 26, 2014 to promote the state’s second largest industry to members of the General Assembly during the Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association’s (TnHTA) 2014 Day on the Hill. Knoxville was well represented by attendees from Visit Knoxville, the Greater Knoxville Hospitality Association and area hotels and restaurants.

The gathering gave us the chance to thank legislators for supporting the enhanced funding for the state’s tourism marketing program and to discuss with them issues that are important to our industry. We also heard from key government leaders including Governor Bill Haslam, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey, Speaker of the House Beth Harwell, and Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Susan Whitaker.  You can view the Governor’s speech on the TnHTA Facebook page HERE.

As noted by Greg Adkins, Chief Executive Officer of TnHTA , “Annual tourism-related expenditures in our state exceed $16.2 billion, and the industry provides jobs for over 280,000 Tennesseans.  Those are jobs that will never be exported overseas.” Hospitality and tourism also generate important revenue for local and state governments in terms of tax collections. “These ‘temporary tax payers’ paid more than $1.2 billion in local and state taxes in 2012,” continued Adkins.  “That is a tax savings of $440.00 for every household in Tennessee!”  In Knox County, direct tourism spending in 2012 totaled $904 million and generated a tax savings of $334 per household.

You can view pictures from the event on TnHTA’s Facebook page HERE.  ‘Like’ them on Facebook to stay up-to-date on important announcements and event information.