Volume 15, Issue 11 | November 2020
TIAK Talk is published monthly for members of the Travel Industry Association of Kansas.
By Kelly Peetoom

Happy Thanksgiving Kansas Travel Partners!

When my tenure as President of TIAK began, I was told by staff and several past presidents that writing the monthly newsletter article is one of the toughest parts of the gig. So to plan ahead for the challenge, I assigned a topic for each month in advance. The November article was to write about the Kansas Tourism Conference and the holiday traditions.

In the spirit of the season and to snub everything 2020, I decided to stick to my original plan but imagine what highlights from the #KTC20 might have been like in person. See photos below.

In all seriousness, I hope you enjoyed the virtual conference as much as I did. Thank you to everyone that worked hard to put it together.

Please stay safe this Holiday Season!

Giving marketing awards.
Eating tacos.
Enjoying late night cocktails.
Miss this year's Kansas Tourism Conference?
Need to rewatch one of the presentations?
All sessions from the #KTC20 are available here.
Student Reflects on #KTC20

Gretchen Kuffel, one of TIAK's student scholarship recipients, wrote this letter reflecting on her experience at TIAK's Kansas Tourism Conference last month. Gretchen is a student athlete attending Fort Hays State University and majoring in their Tourism and Hospitality program.

Thank you to all of our members and partners for making opportunities like this available to Kansas students. Here's to recruiting the next generation of tourism professionals!
Tourism Industry Virtual Huddle

TIAK and the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism are continuing to host biweekly virtual huddles on COVID-19 and its impact on the Kansas tourism and hospitality industries.

The next webinar will be Wednesday, December 16 at 1:00 PM. Questions should be submitted in advance to office@tiak.org. There will be a maximum of 250 participants. Each update will be recorded and available online to anyone that can't participate live.

Topics and login information coming soon.
General Election Recap
The Kansas House of Representatives grew their supermajority from 84 to 86 Republicans after the general election. This shift gives them the veto-proof majority to override a Governor’s veto. This veto-proof majority will be helpful for Republicans as they work to pass legislation that has the potential to be vetoed such as the constitutional amendment on abortion, the 2019/2020 tax cut bills, emergency management and COVID-19 relief measures, and possibly the redistricting maps the legislature looks to pass in 2021.
For the Senate, Republicans hold the line with 29 seats. District 5 flipped from Republican to Democrat with Representative Jeff Pittman (D) challenging and beating Senator Kevin Braun (R). The Senate Republicans also gained an additional seat with Kristen O’Shea (R) winning in Topeka, which was vacated by Vic Miller (D) and was previously held by Governor Laura Kelly. However, the most unexpected upset came with Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley (D) losing his race to challenger Rick Kloos (R) by over 800 votes. Senator Hensley was first elected to the Kansas Legislature in 1977 and has served as Senate Minority Leader since 1996. Senate Democrats now sit at 11 seats, which is what they held after the elections in 2016.
November's win for Kansas Republicans – and conservatives in the Primary Election– will surely impact the issues that gain traction this upcoming legislative session.
More Than $6 Million in Local Transportation, Technology Projects Announced Statewide

Governor Laura Kelly and Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz announced the recipients of more than $6 million in funds provided by two programs that invest in technology and local community transportation needs.

The announcement marked the first-ever awards for KDOT’s Innovative Technology program made possible by the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program, or IKE, the 10-year transportation program approved by the 2020 Kansas Legislature and signed into law by Governor Kelly, to address infrastructure needs across the state. Read more.
Hospitality Management Minor Now Offered at PSU

In fall 2018, Pittsburg State University’s Health, Human Performance, and Recreation Department started their bachelor’s degree program in Recreation Services, Sport and Hospitality Management with an emphasis in Hospitality Management as well as their certificate program in Hospitality Management. Due to high interest in a minor offering, a Hospitality Management minor program started this 2020 fall semester.

What makes these emphasis, minor, and certificate programs unique and interesting to students is the focus is on travel and tourism as well as event planning and management. Students take courses on topics which include but are not limited to event design, event entertainment and technology, as well as resort, spa, and lodging operations. Emphasis and certificate seeking students take a practicum course which allows hands-on experience working with three agencies of their choosing that fall in the area of hospitality.

Students in the emphasis area will complete a 480-hour internship at an agency of their choosing as well. All hospitality management core classes are offered online making this program accessible to many students. Students completing the certificate, minor, and/or emphasis programs may find themselves working as a hotel administrator, event coordinator, or even a travel guide to name a few possible career options.

Those wanting more information about any of the mentioned hospitality management programs may visit the Pittsburg State University’s Health, Human Performance, and Recreation Department webpage.
October Lodging Report

TIAK has an agreement with Smith Travel Research (STR) to provide members with statewide reports on hotel occupancy each month. The following data is provided directly from STR:

Kansas had 65% property participation & 77% hotel room participation in October.


December 4

Legislative Leadership Elections
December 7

TIAK Board Meeting
December 10, virtual

Legislative Session Begins
January 11, 2021

Kansas Tourism Conference
October 18-20, 2021, Liberal
October 2022, Wichita
October 2023, Dodge City

Coupon code: TravelKS

December 3

December 10

December 17