Volume 16, Issue 9 | September 2021
TIAK Talk is published monthly for members of the Travel Industry Association of Kansas.
By Jim Zaleski
Serving at the Pleasure of the Membership

Greetings TIAK members! The countdown to the Kansas Tourism Conference is nearing the end. Thank you to everyone that has registered. I'm very much looking forward to seeing you in Liberal. Our line-up of speakers will bring us the latest information on the current condition of the hospitality industry. So as we gear up for those hefty conversations, I want to talk about federal funding coming down to Kansas.

This isn't the first or last time that your association leaders will remind you how important it is for our industry to have healthy, positive relationships with our elected officials. Right now is a perfect example.

As you are already aware, the clock is ticking on this federal funding that has been set aside for the hospitality and tourism industry. I want us all to take advantage of every opportunity that's offered to us.

Legislation that passed earlier this year known as the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 named the hospitality and tourism industry specifically as one of the targeted areas for the funds to be used. There is a lack of direction on specified uses, and the interpretation of how these funds can be used has largely been left to local or county governments with only some definitions provided by the US Treasury.

The amount of funding is based on population. For example, a county of approximately 20,000 population received $3.8 million, and a city of 10,000 received $1.4 million. There is obviously plenty to go around. However, keep in mind that these dollars can be used on other allowable expenditure categories ranging from infrastructure to drinking water distribution or storm water mitigation to childcare and mental health issues. Needless to say, there will be a long line of folks applying for these dollars. Read more.
#KTC21 Three Weeks Away

TIAK and Kansas Tourism continue to plan for an in-person conference next month. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 status in Kansas and discuss protocols and procedures to keep members safe. The October Tourism Huddle will also focus on conference protocols. 

Refunds will be offered up until the day conference begins for members that do not feel comfortable attending the event. Please feel free to reach out to the TIAK office with any questions or concerns. We can't wait to see you soon in Liberal!
Keynote Speakers
Adrienne Bulinski
Perseverance With Grit
Judge Tommy Webb
You Can Make a Difference
David Bratton
The State of the American Traveler
Tori Emerson Barnes
U.S. Travel Update
Hotel Reservations

Don't forget to make your hotel reservations. Our room block at the Fairfield Inn and Suites expires on October 8, but we also have rooms blocked at the Hampton Inn and Suites. Both rates are $99+. Book online now!
Support a Student

For as little as $10, you can help expose a student to the hospitality/tourism program of study. The TIAK Student Scholarship Fund helps bring college kids to the Kansas Tourism Conference to learn about Kansas and network with their potential future employers! Donate quickly online.
Silent Auction

We're looking for donations to the silent auction at the Kansas Tourism Conference. Contributions should be made by October 1 to ensure you're recognized in the auction catalog. Thank you for your support! Donate here.
Sponsorship Opportunities

We still have a few spots available! The businesses shown below have generously agreed to support this year's Kansas Tourism Conference. If you're interested in joining them, we've added some new levels of giving. This is your chance to highlight and promote what you have to offer the travel and tourism community: introduce a new product, or remind everyone of a great location, piece of merchandise, or service that you are famous for.
Meet Your TIAK Marketing Award Judges

Thank you to our marketing award judges for taking the time to review, examine, and choose this year's TIAK marketing award winners. Remember to attend the closing banquet next week at #KTC21 to hear the announcements!
Jake Huyett is a veteran of the advertising industry. Marketing is what fuels Jake’s passion: defining problems and providing creative solutions. Jake is one of the founding partners of Jones Huyett Partners, an advertising, marketing and brand strategy firm that successfully served the Midwest for three decades with a focus on tourism marketing. Jake now provides marketing and consulting services from his office in rural Jackson County. Using a rigorous analysis of brands, audiences and position in the marketplace, Jake helps clients discover unique opportunities to create messaging that is distinctive and relevant. Jake has managed brands on both the client and agency side of business.
Kim Thompson is currently the Senior Director of Destination Strategy for Madden Media. She has been with Madden for 18 years but in the tourism industry her entire career. She graduated with a Hospitality Administration degree from Missouri State University. She started her career with the Springfield, Missouri Convention and Visitors Bureau, working within the group tour and meetings markets. She then moved to the St. Joseph, Missouri Convention and Visitors Bureau as Director of Sales and Marketing before moving over to Madden Media. Kim’s passion is helping destinations align their marketing plans in an agile environment to gain the best return on their investment.
Katie Olsen, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in Kansas State University’s A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Katie teaches advertising courses within the Strategic Communication Sequence and advises the school’s collegiate American Advertising Federation chapter. Prior to KSU, Katie worked in strategic database marketing in the Kansas City area, providing account management services to clients such as Michelin and Bayer Environmental Sciences. She received her Bachelor’s of Journalism from the University of Missouri, her MBA from Rockhurst University, and her doctorate is from Kansas State. Katie’s research focus examines gender within advertising’s creative departments. 
Jan Stevens has over 30 years of marketing and management experience. She served as the director for the Dodge City Convention & Visitors Bureau and as district manager for southwest Kansas at the Kansas Lottery. She earned her Certified Public Management Certificate, Kansas Destination Specialist designation, served as President of TIAK and Wild West Country, and was an executive board member of the Governors’ Council on Travel and Tourism. She also received the Dodge City Chamber of Commerce’s Bronco Buster Award, and the Kansas Sampler Difference Making Leadership “We Kan” Award. Stevens retired in 2019 and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren. 
October Tourism Huddle

TIAK and Kansas Tourism will host our next virtual huddle on Wednesday, October 13 at 1:00 PM. We'll be talking about #KTC21 and the protocols we have in place for keeping our attendees safe.

Questions should be submitted in advance to office@tiak.org; and there will be a maximum of 250 participants. Each update will be recorded and made available online to anyone that can't participate live.

Recordings of past updates can be found at: https://www.travelks.com/industry/covid19-resources.
September's TIAK Blog Post:
5 Tips on how to get the most out of the Tourism Conference

Conferences are a great way to connect with people in your industry and learn from the best in the field. The Kansas Tourism Conference (#KTC21) is THE conference to do just that and more! You’ll love the motivational speakers, the free swag, networking with peers, awesome food and off-site experiences.  Here are some tips we’ve gathered to help make your first conference experience enjoyable and successful:

  1. Chart your course: It can be overwhelming and incredibly easy to get lost in the flow of events. Before the conference, review the agenda in advance and pick out which sessions interest you the most focusing on areas of your role. This will give you an idea how to structure your day and help you know where you need to be and when. Find the tourism conference agenda here: Kansas Tourism Conference – Travel Industry Association of Kansas (tiak.org).
  2. Come prepared: Bring a small notebook, pen, business cards and your game face. Throughout the conference you will get plenty of great ideas worth jotting down. You’ll also meet many new people you may want to stay connected with after the conference.
  3. Be engaged: It’s hard to be fully engaged at the conference if you are constantly checking in with work and responding to email and phone calls. Get the most out of the conference by minimizing “office work” and keeping non-conference activities to a minimum. Focus and immerse yourself to gain from the session you are attending.
  4. Network: The whole point of a conference is communicating with people! Don’t be afraid to attend social hour and off-site activities – hanging out and making conversations with complete strangers can be scary, however the majority of people at the conference are there to connect with like-minded individuals, too. Many of these events also give you the opportunity to experience the conference host city like a VIP.
  5. Visit the vendors: Review the list of exhibitors before you arrive and highlight the vendors you need to meet. Seek out companies with opportunities that help improve your services. This will help to use your exhibit time to your best advantage. It’s also the best place to pick up some cool conference swag!
2022 Legislative Agenda:
We Need Member Feedback 

TIAK's Legislative Development process needs your input.

Please let us know what issues are important to the travel and tourism industry in Kansas as well as your local community. Your participation will tell Kansas lawmakers exactly where the travel and tourism community stands on the issues that affect the industry. 

Your lawmakers will listen, so exercise your right by sharing your feedback by close of business on Friday, October 8th!
Monthly Travel Data Report: Outlook & Monthly Statistics

Key August Highlights:
  • July travel spending tallied $98.5 billion and reflected a drop of just 6.5% below July 2019 levels, a significant improvement from earlier months
  • As a result of increased uncertainty, 
  • upcoming travel plans have negatively been impacted
  •  for 35% of American travelers
  • Willingness to travel for business is holding steady with more than three-quarters (77%) 
  • willing to travel in the current environment
  • Overseas arrivals in July 2021 were 78% below July 2019 levels (a slight setback from June’s -77%)—driven mostly by inbound travel from Latin America, as visitations from other key markets remain stagnant
August 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 63% property participation and 78% hotel room participation in August.
Job Opening

The Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau is looking for their next full-time intern for its Events and Planning Sales Director position.To learn more and apply, click here.
Membership Directory Now Password Protected
In light of recent email phishing attempts, TIAK is now using a password-protected membership database. To access, please contact the TIAK office for the password.


Tourism Huddle
October 13

TIAK Board Meetings
October 18, December 9

TIAK Executive Committee Meetings
November 11

Kansas Tourism Conference
October 18-20

Destination Statehouse
February 9, 2022