This was the first time for the city to host the annual event, which rotates annually between the three grand divisions of the state.

“We were delighted to bring this annual professional development conference to Clarksville,” said John Whisenant, director of tourism for the association. “Our hosts at Visit Clarksville went out of their way to make the event a great success. We’ve received many wonderful comments from the attendees -- many of whom had not been to Clarksville before -- about what a charming city it is and how good the conference was. We genuinely appreciate all that Visit Clarksville did to make us feel so welcome!

The event offers training and networking opportunities for tourism professionals, as well as vendors that do business with Tennessee tourism and destinations, like Trip Advisor and Expedia. 

Sixteen presenters covered topics like sports event bidding and hosting, destination branding, social and digital marketing, strategic planning, building an effective team, video marketing, understanding the travel planning cycle, plus advocacy topics like lodging tax collections and pending Vacation Rental by Owner, or VRBO, legislation.

The session concluded with a presentation by Tennessee Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Kevin Triplett. He announced that tourism was the number two industry in the State (second only to Agriculture, which includes Forestry), accounting for $19.3 billion in travel-related spending and $1.7 billion in tax revenue.

“We were thrilled to host the event in Clarksville for the first time,” said Visit Clarksville Executive Director Theresa Harrington. “Only about half of the attendees had ever been to Clarksville, so we were proud to show off our community. We appreciate the support of partners like Beachaven, Old Glory, F&M Bank, PSR Events, Five Star Media, and the Riverview Inn that helped make such a great impression.”

About Visit Clarksville

The Clarksville-Montgomery County Tourism Commission was established by the State of Tennessee in 1979 to positively influences tourism in the Clarksville-Montgomery County area by promoting tourist attractions, hosting conventions, group tours and engaging in large-scale marketing efforts. In 2015, the organization adopted the Visit Clarksville brand. Visit Clarksville is governed by nine board of director members and is funded by a portion of the local hotel-motel tax.