Lays Out Strategy to Support Vital Tennessee Industry at Forum
Republican gubernatorial nominee and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam today discussed his plans for supporting the tourism industry and growing jobs across the state during a forum hosted by the Tennessee Tourism Roundtable in Northeast Tennessee.
The candidates took questions on a number of tourism-related topics, and the Mayor explained the key role tourism will play in his overall strategy for economic development as governor.
Mayor Haslam's approach includes an effort to integrate marketing strategies across the state in order to create a cohesive brand for Tennessee that will send a clear message that our state is a great place both to visit and to base your business. He also spoke about the need to continue to work with local communities and destination marketing organizations to drive visitors to tourist destinations across the state.
"My top priority as governor will be making Tennessee the No. 1 state in the Southeast for high quality jobs," said Haslam. "With the tourism industry employing more than 180,000 Tennesseans across the state and its importance to rural and urban areas alike, there's no question that it will play an integral role in our plan to create jobs in Tennessee.
"The steps we take to define a clear and compelling brand for Tennessee will pay dividends in terms of the companies we're able to recruit from other industries as well," Haslam continued.
Mayor Haslam again differentiated himself from his opponent by demonstrating his knowledge and understanding of state government, the tourism industry and budget issues as well as by offering real solutions and taking a fiscally conservative approach to the challenges the state faces.
"The first goal must be to take all the great aspects of life in Tennessee and weave them into a comprehensive marketing strategy for our state that can be used to maximize interest from visitors and new investment alike," Haslam said.
"At the regional level, I will utilize the jobs base camps I will create and ensure that every region incorporates a plan for tourism into their unique economic development strategies," continued Haslam. "Moreover, the state must continue its efforts to maximize the reach of tourists' investments in Tennessee by driving them to locations throughout the state.
"With the right plans for marketing, conservation and economic development, we'll take full advantage of this important industry and grow much-needed jobs here in Tennessee," Haslam said.