Destinations

Knoxville Shifts Focus of Tourism Marketing from Business to Leisure

Jul 24, 2013 8:16 am

Skift Take

Knoxville’s new tourism slogan could easily be applied to any city in the U.S. and does little to tell potential visitors and weekenders why Knoxville should be chosen over nearby competitors.

— Samantha Shankman

Win an All-Expenses Paid Trip to NYC to Tour the Future of Travel

Joel Kramer  / Flickr

Knoxville's paddlewheel steamer carries visitors down the river. Joel Kramer / Flickr


The first piece of a multiyear, $1 million marketing campaign was unveiled Tuesday at an event hosted by Knoxville’s newly restructured tourism organization, Visit Knoxville.

Called “Visit Knoxville the Memories Stay With You,” the campaign, in partnership with local advertising firm The Tombras Group, seeks to put more focus on promoting the city as a getaway destination for leisure travelers, in addition to conventions and meetings.

“We have been working all year to get here. This is the initial vision of what we’re trying to accomplish for Knoxville, Tenn., and tourism,” the organization’s president, Kim Bumpas, told a crowd that filled a theater inside the Regal Riviera Stadium 8. “We’re going to show you here today the vision and the experience and the emotion we’re trying to create when we talk about Knoxville and when we talk about visitors coming to Knoxville.”

Both Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett attended the event.

The campaign is part of a comprehensive sales and marketing strategy the organization is calling a Road Map. It provides a framework for how the rebranding and restructuring of Visit Knoxville will proceed in the coming year as it looks to place new emphasis on leisure travel while improving its convention and meeting marketing.

Rogero noted that it is the first time in more than 10 years that the city has focused on leisure travel. “I think that’s a positive step for us,” she said. “I think we do have a great opportunity for Knoxville to be known as a getaway destination more than just a convention location.”

The first year of the campaign will be spent laying the groundwork, measuring the results and adjusting the plan as needed, Bumpas said after the presentation.

“It’s a robust plan, but what you saw today is to give a general emotion the campaign is trying to create,” she said.

Visit Knoxville has also partnered with Plainview TV to produce a series of 60-second videos promoting things to see and do in the city. Six high-definition television screens have been placed in various locations to display the messages to visitors.

A new website will go live this fall and a new mural at the Knoxville Visitor Center could be unveiled as early as next week.

“We have a lot of irons in the fire, and they’re all coming together now,” Bumpas said. “It’s very exciting for this whole team.”

Watch a video created by Visit Knoxville and the Tombras Group, in conjunction with their new marketing campaign to promote local tourism.

(c)2013 the Knoxville News-Sentinel (Knoxville, Tenn.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

Tags: ,

Next Up

More on Skift

Bali’s Bid to Become a Bitcoin-Friendly Vacation Destination
U.S. Travel and Tourism Industry Provided 7.6 Million Jobs in 2013
The Joffrey Ballet Teaches JW Marriott Staff the Subtleties of Luxury Service
3 Ways to Guarantee Your Next Business Trip Won’t Be All Work and No Play