21 in 2021 – 21 ways to get more involved in tourism this year!

21 in 2021 — 21 ways to get more involved in tourism this year!

graphic about 21 in 2021

Let’s just get it out of the way. 2020 was awful. Our industry (and many others) suffered one of the worst downturns most of us can recall, and the entire world was gripped by fear, loss and uncertainty. We won’t be looking back at 2020 fondly, but we certainly can take away many lessons from it. We’ll have to push forward with perseverance, grit and determination to create a better year ahead. But, Kansans are always up to the task! As an industry, let’s start with how we can resolve to better support tourism from our own backyard all the way to the White House.

Check out 21 ways to promote and engage tourism in 2021:

  1. Join or renew your membership in TIAK in 2021. Yes, it is an expense, but it’s actually more of an investment. If you can’t pay all at once, call the office to inquire about monthly or quarterly payments.
  2. While you’re renewing your own membership, invite a destination, attraction or tourism partner to try the “Taste of TIAK” and then help mentor them during their first year.
  3. Join a committee.  Membership, PAC, marketing, and more! There is a committee for everyone, and getting involved through a committee is a great way to support TIAK.
  4. Attend association events–virtually, or in person.  Annual conference, educational seminars, and Destination Statehouse are all great events to network, learn, and support TIAK.
  5. Beef up social media efforts on your MOST popular platform and commit to post at least 3 x week. Lessen the pressure to post on all outlets and focus on your top 2-3. While you’re at it, make sure you are following TIAK on Facebook.
  6. Partner with local media to share tourism in your town on a regular basis. Podcasts, short interviews or a regular column in the paper are great ways to engage the community.
  7. Reach out to CVB/DMO boards and commissions about what you’re working on. Keep them “in the know” about how you are working to bring guests to town in the future even when travel may still have limitations.
  8. Recognize those who have manned front lines, taken on extra duties or just exemplified service during the year. So many people have stepped up–recognize those stories!
  9. Reach out to postponed meetings, reunions, tours, etc. to inquire about their plans to reschedule. Offer a re-booking incentive if you can!
  10. Create a “local” campaign.  Work with your city or county to offer the locals a discount program, special offers or coupons as a way to thank them for keeping your community strong. Let them know their spending counts too and they don’t go unnoticed. Remember, our residents are always visitors first!
  11. Send an email to your local elected officials on the top five ways your organization continued pushing forward during the pandemic (virtual tours, curbside offers, free masks, marketing campaigns, testimonials from others, etc.).
  12. While we are still recovering, update your online presence (web, social, etc.) so things are up-to-date and user-friendly. Make sure your Google listing is claimed, updated and accurate. This is also a good time to clean up e-news subscriber lists.
  13. Plan ahead and get things ready for spring/summer visitors — tourism packets, guides, maps, etc. — if we’re still under travel restrictions, you can always offer those things virtually or via pick-up by appointment.
  14. Drive around your town to see what needs fixing up. Is there good, visible signage in place? Do things need sprucing up? Potholes need filling? If so, ask for help to make sure these areas are tended to for optimal visitor satisfaction.
  15. Follow 2-3 new tourism blogs, websites, social accounts. Stay on top of trends, news and updates related to the industry. Bookmark selected sites for easy daily reference.
  16. Know who your state legislators are and especially those who serve on committees related to our industry. Have their contact information handy so you can fire off a quick email to thank them, ask for their support of an upcoming bill, or invite them to join our upcoming virtual Destination Statehouse. ttps://tiak.org/events/destination-statehouse/
  17. Participate in the Kansas Tourism Huddles — these online discussions have kept us all connected and updated throughout COVID. As long as they are offered, they’re an excellent resource.
  18. Make sure you are connected to your region and utilize every single marketing initiative offered. It’s always a good idea to have friends and neighbors helping to share your message. Get started here: https://www.travelks.com/regions-cities/regions/ 
  19. Check in and be present even if not in person. Our hotels, restaurants and attractions need to know we are still here and working on their behalf. Ask them what you can do to help. A quick phone call might mean the world to a struggling merchant.
  20. Travel. When the time is right and safe, get out there and be a traveler yourself. We need to stimulate the economies of other destinations too. Use “National Plan for Vacation Day” on January 26, 2021 as your time to plan for the places you want to visit in the coming year.
  21. Be a tourism cheerleader. Our industry is stronger when we band together. Let’s start with an outpouring of Kansas Day social media posts on Friday, January 29. The Kansas Tourism team will be releasing plans for an industry-wide celebration soon, so stay tuned in the coming days for more information. To start your planning, use the hashtags #KansasDay2021 and #ToTheStarsKS and tag @TravelKS in your messaging. 

Cheers to a better 2021 with all of us working together (hopefully in person soon) as champions for tourism!

–Karen Crane, TIAK Marketing Co-Chair
Merriam Visitors Bureau

Visit Salina Director Sylvia Rice wins Governor’s Tourism Award

Congratulations to Visit Salina’s Sylvia Rice for being the recipient of the 2020 Governor’s Tourism Award!

“Sylvia Rice has helped to positively shape nearly every tourism industry-related organization in Kansas. She is an example to us all on how to be a positive change-maker in a local community and is an inspiration to the entire tourism industry in Kansas,” Kelly said.

Access the article through the Salina Post.

The 2020 Kansas Tourism Conference is going virtual!

Travel is safe and we really want to see everyone, but we realize mass gatherings are still a challenge. We decided it would be best to change up the Kansas Tourism Conference this year by going virtual and moving our journey to Liberal in 2021.

A few items to note:

  • We will NOT be meeting October 18-20 in Liberal.
  • The conference will now take place via Zoom during the Huddle session time each Wednesday in October. Click here to view an event flyer!
  • Even if you have already registered for the conference, you MUST register for the Zoom calls. If you have not registered for the conference yet, all you need to do is register for the Zoom calls. To register for the Zoom calls, contact the TIAK Office.

KTC VIRTUAL SCHEDULE FLYER

You MUST register for the Zoom calls in order to attend the virtual conference, even if you have already registered for the conference, itself. We hope to “see” you virtually in October!

Registration is open for the 2020 Kansas Tourism Conference

What a year! Get ready to celebrate the travel and tourism industry at the Kansas Tourism Conference in Liberal, October 19-21, 2020. Be a part of the Kansas tourism industry’s “don’t miss” conference of the year. Registration is now open! Enjoy inspiring speakers, valuable educational information and fun networking opportunities. Kansas has so much travel and tourism talent and we can’t wait for you to meet each other!

For more information, and to register, visit the Kansas Tourism Conference event page. Be sure to look around and see what this year’s conference has to offer: a dynamic lineup of speakers, a silent auction, marketing awards, and so much more. When you’re ready to sign up, simply click “Register Now” in the Conference Dates section and get ready to celebrate. Registration is easy and you may select to complete your payment by using either credit card or check. But don’t forget to make your hotel reservation – the link is on the KTC event page.

Think you can dazzle your tourism peers even more? Share your talent in the TIAK Marketing Awards! Join TIAK in highlighting your skills in conjunction with the 2020 Kansas Tourism Conference. Entries must be submitted by August 21st and each submission may only be entered once. One winner from each overall budget category will be presented at the Awards Banquet. For submission requirements and registration, please visit the Marketing Awards page.

We look forward to celebrating travel and tourism at the 2020 Kansas Tourism Conference! Register today.

COVID-19 Resources for Kansas Tourism-updated regularly!

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism, in conjunction with TIAK, continue to host weekly virtual meetings for Kansas Tourism and Hospitality Industry members to hear from leaders on relevant COVID-19 related issues. Be sure to contact office@tiak.org for more information on future meetings. You may also learn more about the contents of each call here. The TravelKS page lists other COVID-19 resources, as well, and a few additional resources are listed below as clickable links.

KANSAS RESOURCES
Kansas Governor Executive Orders
Kansas Dept. of Labor Unemployment Benefits
Kansas Hiring Resources
UI Fraud Notice
Kansas COVID-19 Response and Recovery

CARES ACT RESOURCES
Paycheck Protection Program fact sheet
Exchange Stabilization Fund fact sheet
Relief for Airports and Tourism fact sheet
Payroll Tax Relief fact sheet
Unemployment Assistance fact sheet
Economic Injury Disaster Loans fact sheet

U.S. TRAVEL
COVID-19 Resources for Destinations Toolkit

COVID-19 Update for Kansas Tourism

On April 1, 2020, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism, in conjunction with TIAK, hosted a virtual meeting for Kansas Tourism and Hospitality Industry members to hear from leaders on relevant COVID-19 related issues. KDWPT Secretary Brad Loveless, along with Director of Tourism Bridgette Jobe, and Treon Glenn from U.S. Travel answered pre-submitted questions regarding the pandemic’s effects on our industry. These calls will continue on a weekly basis. Be sure to contact office@tiak.org for more information on future meetings.

To hear a replay of the April 1st meeting, you may access it here or here. Please note the first few minutes of the welcome were cut off. TIAK will continue to keep you informed.

Kansas Travel Update for COVID-19

Kansas Tourism is continuing to monitor the rapidly developing and changing Coronavirus effects in Kansas.

On Thursday, Kansas Governor Kelly declared a state of emergency to maximize efforts authorizing the use of state resources to assist with response and recovery operations in affected counties. We continue to encourage the traveling public to seek and heed the latest expert guidance, and to make fact-based travel decisions. Travelers should observe safe travel habits as outlined by the CDC.

Checklists for our Kansas Tourism Industry Partners
• We encourage you to relook at every social post, especially those that you have prescheduled, to make sure they are still relevant and appropriate. In light of this rapidly changing situation, something that was current or appropriate last week may not be today.
• We need your assistance in keeping the TravelKS.com event listings current. If an event is being postponed or canceled, please take the time to update the listing on TravelKS.com in addition to your own website. If you need assistance, contact Jaimee.salalac@ks.gov or at 785-296-2009.
• Attempt to reschedule an event whenever possible. The effects of the Coronavirus on the travel industry will be significant, and every attempt to reschedule can help to minimize those adverse effects.
• Many families spring break travels have been disrupted – look for opportunities to encourage families to explore their own community assets. Kansas has ample wide-open spaces that provide exceptional family time. Kansas State Parks continue to remain open.
• It is important for you to keep track of lost business and to share that information with our office. The economic impact calculator available on TravelKS is an easy-to-use tool in assessing the impact of a festival, sporting event, convention or business meeting. This can also be used to quantify lost business. I encourage you to use the calculator and share the results with me at bridgette.jobe@ks.gov.
• We have a page up on TravelKS that refers visitors to the following reliable and factual sources as they make travel decisions.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
World Health Organization (WHO)
U.S. Travel Association

Bridgette Jobe, Director of Tourism
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism
Office Phone: 785-296-3870
bridgette.jobe@ks.gov

2020 Destination Statehouse

It’s that time again and this is the favorite season for those of us like Kevin Fern and me, TIAK Advocacy Chair Jim Zaleski. No, I am not talking about the holiday season I am talking about the political season. The legislature goes back to Topeka the 2nd week of January and TIAK won’t be far behind them with our Destination Statehouse event being held February 5, 2020.

The change in our state’s leadership brings new challenges and new opportunities for our industry. But there is also a change in our Destination Statehouse event. Be sure to join us for the morning and lunch portion of our day, both inside the Statehouse again this year, and then come on over to our new venue for the evening affair at the beautiful Cyrus hotel.

Check in for the morning session begins at 9:30 AM and be prepared for a Made in Kansas lunch. Then be sure to spend some time at the Statehouse visiting with your legislators and discussing the issues of our industry face-to-face. Of course, popcorn distribution will also take place that afternoon, giving everyone a chance to visit legislative offices and introduce yourself to elected officials and staff, alike.

Then it’s time for one of the most anticipated events of the year by our elected officials. The day wouldn’t be complete without exhibiting with your regional partners. Set-up will begin at the Cyrus at 3 PM. The evening event will begin at 5 PM and our new location will make this year’s celebration even more memorable.

Our theme this year will be built around the idea of tourism being an important part of the economic future of our state. Tourism is Economic Development, so be sure to have those numbers ready for your legislators, such as total visitors to your destination or the amount of economic impact felt locally by one of your events. Games or trivia based on those numbers could also be a fun idea to educate our state officials on how important tourism is to the economic future of Kansas.

Speaking of economics, the costs for this event increased this year so sponsorships are extremely important for both the day and evening events. Please think about how you can assist TIAK in maintaining the great reputation we have during our time in Topeka. To register, or learn more about Destination Statehouse, visit the TIAK website at https://tiak.org/events/destination-statehouse/. Sign up today for the 2020 Destination Statehouse on February 5th in Topeka.

Questions from regions or regarding the evening event can be directed to Jim Zaleski at jzaleski@parsonsks.com or 620.421.7030. See you there…

2019 Kansas Tourism Conference

Get ready to sparkle and shine like a “Diamond in the Wheat” at the 2019 Kansas Tourism Conference in Mulvane, October 21-23, 2019. Be a part of the Kansas tourism industry’s “don’t miss” conference of the year. Registration is now open! Enjoy inspiring speakers, valuable educational information and fun networking opportunities. Kansas has so many Diamonds in the Wheat and we can’t wait for you to meet each other!

For more information, and to register, visit the Kansas Tourism Conference event page. Be sure to look around and see what this year’s conference has to offer: a dynamic lineup of speakers, a silent auction, marketing awards, a SportsKS golf tournament, and so much more. When you’re ready to start shining, simply click “Register Now” in the Conference Dates section and get ready to sparkle. Registration is easy and you may select to complete your payment by using either credit card or check. But don’t forget to make your hotel reservation – the link is on the KTC event page.

Think you can dazzle your tourism peers even more? Shine and sparkle in the 2019 TIAK Marketing Awards! Join TIAK again in highlighting your talent in conjunction with the 2019 Kansas Tourism Conference. Entries must be submitted by August 15th and each submission may only be entered once. One winner from each overall budget category will be presented at the Awards Banquet for each of the following categories: Visitors Guide (both in-house and outsourced), Online Marketing, Print Marketing, Integrated Campaign, and Destination Awareness. For submission requirements and registration, please visit the Marketing Awards page.

Plan to tee-off KTC with SportsKS in a 4-person, 9-hole scramble! SportsKS is hosting their 3rd Annual Golf Tournament this year prior to the start of the conference. Golf registration available during conference registration. And if golf isn’t your thing, non-golfers have the option to register for a short “Lunch and Learn” at the Clubhouse. Find out more details under the Additional Events section of the KTC event page.

We look forward to finding Diamonds in the Wheat with you at the 2019 Kansas Tourism Conference! Thank you, in advance, for your support, both at the Conference and throughout the year.