TIAK Board Spotlight June 2022

TIAK BOARD SPOTLIGHT

Our June board member spotlight features a Hays superstar! Read more below and be sure to say hello at a future TIAK event.

Check back monthly as we shine the spotlight on other members of the board throughout the year.

Janet Kuhn, Sales Manger – Hays Convention & Visitors Bureau

What do you love most about working in the tourism industry?

The thing I love most about working in the travel industry is the lifelong friendships I’ve gained over the years.

Tell us a little fun fact about yourself?

I cannot finish an entire bag of microwave popcorn by myself.

Best tip for a new member of TIAK?

Attend the Kansas Tourism Conference and get involved.

Favorite book, movie, music, food or vacation?

Tuesdays with Morrie, Dirty Dancing, fajitas, and traveling through Kansas with my children.

Anything else you’d like to share?

One of my favorite sights is seeing a John Deere combine harvesting wheat. I’m a dog lover. And, I’m very proud my hometown is Hays, Kansas!

TIAK Board Spotlight May 2022

TIAK BOARD SPOTLIGHT

Our May board member spotlights feature folks from Great Bend and Rooks County! Read more below and be sure to say hello at a future TIAK event.

Be sure to check back monthly as we shine the spotlight on other members of the board throughout the year.

Christina Hayes, Director – City of Great Bend Convention & Visitors Bureau

What do you love most about working in the tourism industry?

I love being able to promote the communities that I love and help families create memories in our wonderful state!

Tell us a little fun fact about yourself?

I love gardening and make an average of 98 big jars of salsa each summer!

Best tip for a new member of TIAK?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make suggestions and be willing to help, cause it’s fun!

Favorite book, movie, music, food or vacation?

I love almost all music, all food, and love ANY vacation in the sun!

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’m a proud mom of an 11 year old boy who loves football, baseball and being a boy mom is the BEST JOB EVER!!!

Roger Hrabe, Director – Rooks County Economic Development

What do you love most about working in the tourism industry?

The thing I love most about working in the tourism industry is the people.  Tourism people are so fun to be around and are always looking to have a good time.  I used to teach Geography, so I also really enjoy traveling and seeing new places and historic attractions.

Tell us a little fun fact about yourself?

I have visited over 50 micro breweries and collected coasters from most all of them.  Someday I will have a shirt with all of them on it.  It will look like a refrigerator at a brewery.  I was also Homecoming King at Plainville HS in … a couple years ago.

Best tip for a new member of TIAK?

Get to know as many TIAK members as possible and stay after hours.

Favorite book, movie, music, food or vacation?

I have had some great trips, but my favorite was visiting a classmate in Europe.  We traveled to Venice, Rome, Paris and Geneva.  But what I enjoy the most is sitting by the stream and having a glass of wine at a rental cabin in Estes Park, CO.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I always look forward to meeting with all my TIAK and Tourism friends and helping promote the great state of Kansas! To The Stars!!!

TIAK Board Spotlight

Beyond the boardroom, there’s a lot of work that goes into keeping TIAK a well-respected and impeccably running association. While our staff, Natalie, Marlee, and Amy keep things going on a daily basis and surely make the board member roles easier, we want to give a big shout out to our board of directors for the tireless efforts and support they lend to this association, their own communities, and the tourism industry!

Let’s take a look at two of our board members who hail from tourism roles in Olathe and Coffeyville with this TIAK Board Q&A.

Be sure to check back monthly as we shine the spotlight on other members of the board throughout the year.

Allison Calvin, Destination Services Manager – Olathe Convention & Visitors Bureau

What do you love most about working in the tourism industry?

Traveling has always been a hobby of mine, so when I had the opportunity to promote Olathe, the KC metro, and our beautiful state, it was a dream come true!  I have really enjoyed taking my knowledge from my Travel, Tourism, & Hospitality Management degree and growing tourism in our state.

Tell us a little fun fact about yourself?

I played college soccer in Florida and professionally played the piano for 5 years!

Best tip for a new member of TIAK?

Make connections and don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Favorite book, movie, music, food or vacation?

Favorite food- sushi, favorite vacation- Disney World

Anything else you’d like to share?

I am the NEKS rep on the TIAK board and have enjoyed promoting NEKS and our beautiful state!

Amy Dollar, Tourism Director – Visit Coffeyville

What do you love most about working in the tourism industry?

The ability to learn, teach, promote and preserve history.

Tell us a little fun fact about yourself?

I love history!

Best tip for a new member of TIAK?

I am new myself, but everyone is welcoming and informative.

Favorite book, movie, music, food or vacation?

Favorite book – Rebecca

 

 

Make the Most of Destination Statehouse

MAKE THE MOST OF DESTINATION STATEHOUSE

If you’ll be traveling to Topeka on February 9 for Destination Statehouse, be sure to make the most of your time for this jam-packed day of tourism lobbying and networking with elected officials and colleagues. Check out the tips below to make the most of your day at the Statehouse and learn more about the day’s agenda here.

  • Dress warm (or in layers) and wear comfy shoes. You’ll be doing A LOT of walking. Also, bring a mask just in case a specific area of the capitol or legislative office requires masking.
  • If you’ve never done it, be sure to take the state capitol tour. Tours take place every hour. If you’re interested, just meet at the Kansas Visitor Center at the Statehouse entrance at the top of the hour.
  • Schedule appointments with your legislators in advance. Click here for more tips on being an advocate for tourism.
  • TIAK members will deliver small bags of popcorn to each legislator. These bags will have a reminder about the evening event as well. Please stop by the registration area to deliver gifts to your legislators’ offices, and maybe take a few more to help with the delivery workload.
  • Plan to stop by the new offices of Kansas Tourism between 1:30-3:30 for an open house with the Department of Commerce (located at 1000 SW Jackson, Suite 100).
  • Bonus – if you have time before or after Destination Statehouse, try to take in a local attraction or grab a coffee and a snack for the drive home at a local bakery, coffee shop or restaurant. Explore https://www.visittopeka.com/ for a list of attractions, shops, restaurants and more!

–Karen Crane
TIAK Marketing Chair

Celebrating National Travel & Tourism Week!

National Travel & Tourism Week is well underway. Be sure to share your photos and activities with office@tiak.org and let us know how you are showcasing your community.

“Donut underestimate the Power of Travel!”

Visit Kansas City, Kansas Director, Alan Carr, delivered donuts to the Wyandotte County delegation in honor of National Travel & Tourism Week.

 

National Tourism Week Across Kansas

National Tourism Week Across Kansas

May 2-8, 2021 marks the 38th annual National Tourism Week (NTW) celebration. It’s a time when travel and tourism professionals across the country unite to celebrate the value travel holds for our economy, businesses and personal well-being.

While NTW celebrations were held virtually in 2020 as travel buckled under the growing rise in Covid cases, this year we are hopeful that this industry is taking a turn for the better. As such, we are proud to be a part of the #PowerOfTravel and know that our Kansas communities play an essential role in rebuilding our industry and the U.S. economy.

Let’s take a peek at the monumental impact travel has on the Kansas economy:

  • $7.3 billion was spent by 36.5 million visitors to Kansas in 2019
  • Visitor spending has increased $775 million since 2015
  • 15¢ of each visitor dollar is spent in a Kansas retail store
  • A traveler is worth $200 per day to Kansas
  • Overnight visitors represent 40% of all visits to Kansas
  • $613 million in new capital investment for tourism projects
  • 66,007 direct tourism jobs in Kansas
  • Each Kansas household would be taxed an additional $600 to replace the tax revenue generated by tourism

Source: Economic Impact of Tourism in Kansas 2019, Tourism Economics

To celebrate this important industry and take part in NTW activities across the U.S., here’s a quick glance at what some Kansas communities are doing during National Tourism Week!

Kansas City, KS: Visit Kansas City Kansas plans to share information and statistics on the power of tourism via social outlets the week of April 26. Then throughout National Tourism Week, they will be posting spotlights on various industry partners linking back to a blog on their website. The blog and spotlights will feature ways our partners pivoted and saw community support in 2020, and what they are looking forward to with travel coming back in 2021. Lastly, they will be delivering donuts to various partners and stakeholders throughout the week of NTW, with stats on tourism’s impact on KCK/Kansas and a note that says something similar to, “Donut underestimate the Power of Travel!”

Shawnee, KS: Lt. Governor David Toland is the invited guest speaker at Visit Shawnee’s “Turn the Page” Celebration of National Travel & Tourism Week on Thursday, May 13, 2021, at the Pavilion at Theatre in the Park, 7710 Renner Road.

Olathe, KS: Join the Olathe Chamber of Commerce as we celebrate tourism week virtually through a networking coffee.  Meet our chamber members and hear about how tourism impacts our community on Thursday, May 6 at 9am.  For more information and the zoom link, visit olathe.org.

Merriam, KS: The Passport to Merriam will launch during National Tourism Week, inviting locals and visitors to #ExploreMerriam. In addition, the Visitors Bureau will be making special deliveries to front line hospitality workers to thank them for their tireless efforts in serving guests to Merriam.

Trego County: It’s time to hit the road to explore Trego County and join the 36 million tourists who visit our state each year! This May 2-8, we’ll be celebrating National Travel & Tourism Month. Tourism is a vital piece of the Kansas economy, supporting 66K jobs and contributing $7.3 billion to the state’s economy, a $775 million increase since 2015! We believe our residents are our best ambassadors, so we’ve created the #TourTrego challenge to help spread the word about all the great things to see and do in Trego County. It’s a fun, interactive way for you to enjoy our county by sharing your best selfies on your Facebook page along with the hashtag “#TourTrego.” Each time you do, your name will be entered in a drawing for $50 in Wampum bucks to spend at one of WaKeeney’s businesses. We’ve put together a list of the most popular places to explore around our county to help you get started. Click here for more information on how you can #TourTrego.

Council Grove, KS: While not officially during tourism week, Council Grove is gearing up to celebrate the Santa Fe Trail 200th! The Historic Preservation Corporation and Trail Days Historic Site will be presenting a Santa Fe Trail 200 event on Sunday September 12, at 2:00 p.m. in the Council Grove High School Auditorium.  Slawomir Dobrzanski, chair of the Keyboard Department of Kansas State University, will be presenting “Amazing Classical Music on the Santa Fe Trail” related to the 1861 Rawlinson-Terwilliger stone home, a Certified Historic Site and Interpretive Site on the Santa Fe National Historic Trail. The music will include a classical version of “Home on the Range,” authentic Native American music, and music from the 1800s played in ethnic countries of the early settlers who built and lived in the stone home and who represent the ethnic foods served in the Trail Days Café & Museum. Call: (620)767-7986 for reservations. Seats are $15.00 each and proceeds go to the Trail Days Historic Site projects.

If you’re not sure how to participate in National Tourism Week, it’s easy! Here’s a few ideas:

  • Share social media posts on tourism’s impact in your community!
  • Host a giveaway of locally made products for visitors stopping by your local chamber, visitors’ bureau or city hall.
  • Invite local elected officials for coffee while you discuss how tourism benefits your destination.
  • Ask your Mayor or Council to issue a proclamation to officially recognize May 2-8, 2021 as National Travel and Tourism Week.
  • Create an itinerary for a weekend getaway in your destination and invite employees, local residents and visitors to suggest their favorites. Highlight each location throughout the week on social media channels.

To learn more about the history and importance of National Tourism Week, visit www.ustravel.org.