Volume 14, Issue 10 | October 2019
The TIAK Talk is published monthly for members of the Travel Industry Association of Kansas.
By Stacy Barnes

Wow, what a great Kansas Tourism Team we have! Last week we had a wonderful annual Kansas Tourism Conference in Mulvane with great speakers, fun events, and the best part…awesome tourism people. There are so many thank you’s to give: Stacy Davis, the Kansas Star Casino and Event Center Staff, and all the other local hosts, Brad, Bridgette, the KDWPT Team, TIAK Board and Committee members, and of course Marlee, Natalie and Amy.
I can’t believe this year is winding down and my year as TIAK President will soon be over. Thank you to the membership for allowing me to serve our organization. It has been a joy and privilege. There are so many great things happening right now in our state, and I am proud that tourism is part of that excitement. And, you have just two more newsletter articles left from me. No one took me up on my call for article topics that I announced at the conference, so you’ve got a little time, send them my way!
Thank you to the TIAK Executive Committee for their hard work in helping plan and execute another successful Kansas Tourism Conference.
Congratulations to Janet Kuhn from the Hays CVB for winning the Leilani Thomas Spirit of Tourism Award. She was honored at the Kansas Tourism Conference.
Marketing Award Winners Announced
The winners of the 2019 TIAK Marketing Awards were announced and recognized during last week’s Kansas Tourism Conference on October 21-23 in Mulvane. These awards recognize excellence in destination marketing initiatives across the state. Congratulations to all winners! Read more.
Judges Share “Aha” Moments
TIAK was honored to have three very well-qualified marketing experts judge this year’s marketing award entries. The decisions are never easy, so we’ve asked them to share some of their “aha” moments and insights from 2019. Read more.
Laura Lynch,Owner and Chief Creative Strategist, Lynchpin Ideas LLC
Jake Huyett, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Account Services, jhP
Katie Olsen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, KSU School of Journalism and Mass Communications
Members Receive Destination Specialist Designations
Congratulations to the following TIAK members and hard-working tourism professionals for earning their Kansas Destination Specialist designation this year. The following individuals were recognized during the 2019 Kansas Tourism Conference.

  • Holli Ayala, Small Markets & Hospitality Director, Finney County CVB
  • Samantha Kudrick, Tourism Director, Visit Coffeyville
  • Kylee Luckeroth, Executive Director, Seneca Area Chamber & Downtown Impact
  • Jessica Schenkel, Director of Sales, Visit Topeka
  • Lori Siebenaler, Sales Manager, Emporia CVB
  • Melissa Sowers, Sales Director, Events & Planning, Finney County CVB
  • Megan Welsh, Tourism Coordinator, Dodge City CVB
  • Michelle Whitesell, Director, Marysville Convention & Tourism
KDOT Hosts Second Round of Local Consult Meetings
The Kansas Department of Transportation announced a second series of Local Consult meetings to give citizens a chance to discuss regional transportation priorities and continue shaping the State’s next 10-year transportation program. Find a location near you. .
“Framework for Growth” Kicks Off
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly and Secretary of Commerce David Toland announced on October 7 that they have kicked off the development of the “Framework for Growth” – a robust strategy to accelerate economic growth in the state of Kansas. Read more.
September Lodging Report
TIAK has signed an agreement with Smith Travel Research (STR) to provide members with the monthly statewide STR report on hotel occupancy. Several TIAK members receive their local community information. We hope that this agreement will increase the information gathered, hotel participants, and improve data the included. Click here for monthly and year-to-date comparisons provided directly by STR.
Kansas had 65% property participation and 78% hotel room participation in September.
With GDP up just 2.3% on a y/y basis in the second quarter of 2019, the slowest pace in two years, the economy is on a decelerating path. Most high-frequency monthly data suggest this trend of slow economic growth will continue in the third quarter, and demand for capital goods by U.S. businesses and exports by the global economy remains sluggish. At the same time, the labor market remains healthy, with continued employment gains and solid wage growth, and inflation remains tame. These trends are reflected in the travel industry, with domestic leisure travel outpacing domestic business travel and international inbound travel underperforming compared to domestic travel through the first eight months of 2019. Read more .
Retiring CVB Director Looks Back on Long-Standing Career
After 13 years with the Dodge City Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), Jan Stevens is retiring.

Stevens began her career with the city as the Director of the CVB, after serving as the District Manager for the Kansas Lottery in the southwest region of Kansas for more than a decade. “At that time, my daughter had graduated from High School and had moved to Manhattan, and this position had opened up, and I thought to myself- I think I’d be good at that!” Read more.

TIAK Executive Committee Meeting
November 14, Cottonwood Falls

Governor’s Council on Tourism
December 6 Topeka

TIAK Board Meeting
December 12, Topeka

TIAK Destination Statehouse
February 5, Topeka

U.S. Travel Association Destination Capitol Hill
April 1-2, Washington D.C.

Kansas Tourism Conference
October 19-21, 2020 in Liberal
October 18-20, 2021 in Wichita


November 7

November 14

November 21

November 28

The Ford County Expo Center is looking to hire their new Operations and Event Managers. Click here for the job descriptions and how to apply.

Hall Industrial Services
W.A.A.M. Interactive Heritage Center