2022 TIAK Kansas Tourism Conference Reflection
By Logan Lynn
I first want to say thank you again for choosing me to be the student recipient of the Travel Industry Association of Kansas scholarship. I thoroughly enjoyed my time getting to attend the 2022 Kansas Tourism Conference this past week. I am very passionate about being a part of organizations that provide opportunities for young professionals and invests in their future, so I am very glad I was able to find this opportunity that TIAK offered!
During the conference, I took over four pages of notes. I enjoyed listening to every speaker and walked away from the conference with so much knowledge that I will be able to use in the future. From all the notes I took, I wanted to break down what my favorite parts from each day were.
Jackie Stiles was an amazing speaker and she really showcased the Kansas spirit. Her life story was very inspirational with her constant grit and determination to accomplish her goals.
I also had never been to chicken and pickle and had a lot of fun! This was a great venue to have our outing at.
On Tuesday, I was fascinated when it came to the State of Tourism presentation and learning about their new promotional material with Visit Kansas. I love the “To The Stars” campaign with the breakdown of the different regions. This was something that before the conference I was not aware of and really enjoyed learning about the statistics behind each promotional material. I was also glad to hear that Visit Kansas is doing FAM tours and attracting influencers and content creators. This type of marketing is only going to keep growing in the future.
Looking back, I think Tuesday was my favorite day because I have recently found an interest in looking at data and analytics. On Tuesday, we got a lot of breakdowns on traveler data in Kansas. I was most intrigued by the fact that out-of-state travelers to Kansas have increased by 18% compared to 2021. The speaker also mentioned that tourism recovery is needed for full economic recovery and that we are predicting this will happen in 2025-2026.
On Wednesday, my favorite part was learning about the future of tourism in Kansas. This was the session I was most looking forward to when attending this conference. The speakers from Visit Emporia, Hays CVB, and Envision talked about some truly amazing things happening in Kansas. The one that blew me away was Visit Emporia and how LeLan talked about Emporia’s growing Hispanic community and what they are doing as a community to help them feel more welcomed. LeLan talked about how he not only is meeting with the Hispanic community to learn more from them and what their needs are, but he has also started implementing classes where they are teaching employees in hospitality jobs how to communicate in Spanish with common hospitality phrases.
At K-State, I am the University and Community Services Coordinator for our Hospitality Management club. From what I learned from LeLan at the conference, I want to find a way to inform and educate my peers on how we can better communicate with the Hispanic community. I would like to create a workshop next semester for students to have this opportunity, much like LeLan has done with Visit Emporia.
I unfortunately had to leave the conference early on Wednesday due to an important exam I had Thursday morning, but I am so glad I was able to attend this year’s Kansas Tourism Conference. I left this conference even more confident that travel and tourism/ economic development is what I want to go into once I graduate. This was the first conference I have ever attended and I thought it was very well done! I got to meet so many amazing people within our industry. Kansas is a great state with some truly great people. From what I learned at the conference, Kansas is going to be growing when it comes to hospitality and tourism in the next couple of years and I cannot wait to see what Kansas has in store.
To the Stars!