Hospitality leaders want more money to market

Traffic in Pigeon Forge is already bumper to bumper for the 4th of July week. (Source: Kyle Grainger)

Traffic in Pigeon Forge is already bumper to bumper for the 4th of July week. (Source: Kyle Grainger)

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The head of the state hospitality association was in Pigeon Forge on Thursday to explain issues that are ahead in the coming year to the Pigeon Forge Hospitality Association, including money used for advertising.

Greg Adkins, CEO, Tennessee Hospitality Association, says that this year there are several key issues that will be big for Sevier County. One of the issues is how much the state spends on marketing the state.

"I don't think most people realize that, but we at the state level, and a lot of legislators know, this is a drving economic area for the state of Tennessee," said Adkins about Sevier County.

He says it could be an even bigger player on a national level if more money could be spent. Right now the state spends $4 million to market the state. Michigan spends $25-30 million on direct marketing.

"It's just not enough money to get the message out there. So what we're trying to do is get the department of tourism more money to market the state," said Adkins. "I think Tennessee could see a lot more tourism especially in this area (Sevier County) if more marketing money was directly appropriated," he added.

Adkins says he's working with the governor to get more money on direct marketing.

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