President’s Article January 2022

It’s a great day in Kansas!

When Stacy Barnes asked me to join the TIAK Executive Committee, the idea of serving as President seemed so far away. Well, time flies when you’re having fun, and here I am.

January 29 was Kansas Day. Last year, thanks to Jordan Roemerman and the Kansas Tourism Team, we all participated in an award-winning Kansas Day promotion. This year, the goal was to make that campaign bigger and better. We hope that you shared this campaign with other businesses, attractions, and schools in your community. A rising tide raises all ships, and together, I think we helped Kansas celebrate in a big way!

With the start of the 2022 Legislative Session and TIAK’s Destination Statehouse right around the corner, now is the time to reach out to your respective legislators to invite them to join us for a delicious Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que lunch and a great legislative reception at the Cyrus Hotel. The tourism industry is synonymous with fun, so please make sure your community’s legislators receive a personal invitation to attend.

Many people choose a word for each year, and I challenge TIAK members to embrace advocacy. Advocacy within your community’s tourism industry to share what your office does, advocacy to your city or county council members or commissioners to share the economic impact of tourism in your community, and advocacy at the state and national levels for our industry. The tourism industry has survived an unprecedented challenge presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, but we must make our presence known. We excel at marketing our communities, businesses, and attractions, but we cannot forget we must also promote our organizations. The DMOs who will fare the best from COVID-related funding are those with relationships to those making the decisions. Imagine the difference your office could make with a little extra funding in your marketing budget. Now, you need to advocate for your organization and the tourism industry more than ever.

I look forward to seeing everyone in Topeka!

To the Stars,

Julie Roller Weeks
Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau director / 2022 TIAK president