Volume 16, Issue 1 | January 2021
TIAK Talk is published monthly for members of the Travel Industry Association of Kansas.
By Jim Zaleski

Well, here we go! Welcome to 2021. Normally, the first president’s report is filled with industry successes from the previous year and a positive report on how the new year is progressing. Well, as they say, “This ain’t that type of movie.” In fact, this is me preparing to carve up 2020 and be done with it.

The challenges we face as we start a new year are unlike anything we have seen in the past. While hard learned lessons from similar situations are serving us well; for the most part, we are making it up as we go along and just playing the cards we've been dealt. If you haven’t noticed, I plan on entering this column to the Guinness Book for the most cliché’s ever used. So stick with me.

Looking back at 2020 - and all clichés aside - I can’t thank everyone enough. Our TIAK members, board of directors, Marlee, Natalie, Bridgette, and Secretary Loveless have led and guided us well in an ever-changing world these past eleven months. TIAK and the folks at Travel KS certainly seemed to take lemons and turn them into some darn good lemonade. And with former TIAK President Kelly Peetoom’s help, we turned that lemonade into a screwdriver during the virtual happy hour at the annual conference. Read more.
Destination Statehouse: Part 2

Mark your calendars for Part 2 of TIAK's virtual Destination Statehouse on Wednesday, February 10 at 1:00pm. Don't miss out on your chance to get some "inside baseball" as legislative leadership gives us an update on this very interesting legislative session.

Find your lobbying toolkit and other resources you'll need to contact your state elected officials to share the story of travel and tourism. Learn more here.
Travel Industry Supports ERO

TIAK President Jim Zaleski issued the following statement supporting the Executive Reorganization Order to return Kansas Tourism from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) to the Kansas Department of Commerce (KDOC). 
Kansas Tourism has historically been housed at KDOC before it was moved to KDWP in 2011. The Executive Order was announced on Monday.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism in Kansas has been devastated and will require substantial resources to recover. Relocating Kansas Tourism to the Kansas Department of Commerce will provide greater opportunities to assist local communities in their recovery. The industry and TIAK Board of Directors supports this move and thinks it is the right time for change.
“The travel and tourism industry is an independent economic driver, which historically adds $7.3 billion to the Kansas economy. The Kansas Department of Commerce is well positioned for economic growth through more opportunities to impact strategic economic development discussions.
“Kansas Tourism and the Department of Commerce have a shared goal of bringing both visitors and revenue into the state. A coordinated marketing effort will help establish and promote a consistent, strong state brand and a single “front door” to Kansas.”

TIAK encourages all members to contact your state legislators and ask them to support Governor Kelly's Executive Reorganization Order. Here are some great talking points you can use to get the conversation started.
KDOT Launches IKE Program Website

The Kansas Department of Transportation has announced the launch of a new Eisenhower Legacy Transportation (IKE) Program website, the new source for information about the 10-year transportation program.

The website is part of KDOT’s commitment to transparency and accountability. Kansans can check in on the status of transportation projects, including the remaining T-WORKS projects that KDOT is working to complete. It will keep track of their status toward meeting goals for preservation, expansion and modernization spending and progress toward delivering at least $8 million in transportation projects in every county in Kansas. Visit the new IKE Program Website here.
Meet the New Awards Committee Chairs

My name is Samantha Kudrick, and I have been the Tourism Director for Visit Coffeyville since Fall of 2014. I was raised my whole life in Coffeyville, and earn my Bachelor of Science degree from Kansas State University in 2013—Go State!

I joined TIAK in December 2019. Although I have only been a member for a little over a year, I am both excited and nervous to hit the ground running, learning and helping out my association.
Hi everyone! I'm Allison Calvin and am so thankful to be apart of this Kansas Tourism community. With my degree in Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality Management from Johnson & Wales University in North Miami, I wanted nothing more than to promote the beautiful state I grew up in.

I have enjoyed working with all of you over the last six years, and look forward to continuing to promote Olathe, Northeast Kansas, and helping with the TIAK marketing awards for many years to come.
December 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 & 76% hotel room participation in December.
21 in 2021: 21 Ways to get Involved in Tourism!
By Karen Crane, Merriam Visitors Bureau

Let’s just get it out of the way. 2020 was awful. Our industry (and many others) suffered one of the worst downturns most of us can recall, and the entire world was gripped by fear, loss and uncertainty. We won’t be looking back at 2020 fondly, but we certainly can take away many lessons from it. We’ll have to push forward with perseverance, grit and determination to create a better year ahead. But, Kansans are always up to the task! As an industry, let’s start with how we can resolve to better support tourism from our own backyard all the way to the White House. Click here to read the rest of Karen's blog post.
A Special Thank you from Kerry Green

To my tourism family. You will never know now much your thoughts, prayers and "hugs" have meant to me over the last month. Losing John on December 20 was so unexpected. This is not how our story was supposed to end, but God had other plans. 

I want to thank each of you that sent in thoughts and photos for my tourism remembrance frame of him. I will cherish it always. I am so blessed that he made an impact on so many of you. We were married for 40 years, but I loved him for 42, and will love him the rest of my life. 

Each day I look to God for strength and faith that I can take even the small steps. I know I can count on you to help me navigate this new normal. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and look forward to returning your "hugs" sometime soon.

Fort Hays State University
Historic Preservation Corporation

Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation


Virtual Destination Statehouse
February 10

TIAK Board Meetings
February 4, April 8

TIAK Committee Meeting
March 11, June 9

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

Coupon code: TravelKS

February 4

February 11

February 18

February 25