Volume 15, Issue 7 | July 2020
TIAK Talk is published monthly for members of the Travel Industry Association of Kansas.
By Kelly Peetoom

Hello Kansas Travel Partners. While the year 2020 can be called many things, one thing is for certain. It has been a roller coaster ride with more downs than ups; so indulge me as I focus on a few positives for a moment.

Smith Travel (STR) monthly reports came out last week and exhibited occupancy and ADR growth for the State of Kansas beginning in April through June.

                                  April                 June
Occupancy               24.5%            45.7%
ADR                         $62.98           $74.76

The Amateur Sports Market has continued in many areas of the state. For Olathe and eastern Kansas, we have had both baseball and girls softball tournaments that have generated many weekend room nights. Topeka was also able to host the coveted 2020 Shrine Bowl this past weekend.

Finally, leisure travel has sustained many Kansans looking for ways to get on the road safely during this time. The pent-up demand and regional travelers have been a blessing for many of us. Many of you have created unique social marketing campaigns to help promote your destinations to those leisure travelers. Good work.

On those positive notes, I hope to see all of you in person in October at the Kansas Tourism Conference.
conference logo
Are you registered for the 2020 Kansas Tourism Conference?

You are invited to be part of the Kansas tourism industry's "don't miss" conference of the year. Enjoy inspiring speakers, valuable education, and fun networking opportunities. Kansas has so many things to celebrate this year, and we can't wait for you to be a part of it.
We've added some new levels this year. 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 you are famous for.
Share your marketing mix and join TIAK in highlighting Kansas' talent at the 2020 KansasTourism Conference. Submit your entry for the TIAK Marketing Awards by August 21st. One winner from each overall budget category will be presented at the Awards Banquet in October.
Don't forget to make your hotel reservations, too! Contact the TIAK Office for registration assistance or questions.
Governor Signs Executive Orders Delaying Schools, Implementing Mitigation Procedures

Governor Laura Kelly on Monday signed Executive Order #20-59 and shared the details for Executive Order #20-58. Executive Order #20-58 can only be signed if the Kansas Board of Education votes to approve her order. Executive Order #20-58 delays schools from beginning any student instruction from August through September 8. Executive Order #20-59 outlines mitigation procedures schools must take to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Kansas students and teachers. Read more .
Watch the Latest SPARK Meeting
Interested in how the SPARK Committee is proposing to spend the $1 billion in federal COVID relief funds? If so, you can watch their meetings online and even have access to the presentations and handouts.

TIAK is encouraging members to work with your county on distribution of these dollars to your local agencies.
Biweekly COVID-19 Webinars

TIAK, in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, has changed their COVID-19 Updates to every other week. Mark your calendars for the next one on July 29 . Zoom login information is emailed on the Monday before.

Questions should be submitted in advance to office@tiak.org ; and there is a maximum of 250 participants. Each webinar is recorded and made available to anyone that can't participate live. Past recordings can be found at: https://www.travelks.com/industry/covid19-resources .
Kansas Tax Collections Over June Projections

The State of Kansas saw a better-than-predicted close to Fiscal Year 2020. In June, the state’s total tax collections were up by $135.6 million or 22.3% more than estimated with $744.4 million collected. Compared to the same month last fiscal year, June tax collections were down by 4.8%. For FY 2020, total tax collections were up by $163.7 million or 2.4% more than estimated with collections of $7.0 billion; a 5.7% decrease from last year. Read more .
T-WORKS Schedule Information

In March 2020, the Kansas Legislature approved and Governor Kelly signed into law the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program (IKE), a 10-year transportation program that preserves the existing system and provides flexibility to address current and future opportunities and challenges.

While it is exciting to start development work on new projects, delayed T-WORKS projects must be completed and promises delivered to Kansas communities. Currently there are 18 T-WORKS projects remaining, and KDOT is working to deliver those projects as quickly as possible.

Scheduled letting dates are noted on the construction report. As projects move to construction, a public information meeting will be held to review engineering plans and the construction schedule.

KDOT’s Cost Share Program Recipients Announced

Governor Laura Kelly and Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz announced on July 9 the recipients across the state of the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Cost Share Program. These 24 projects total more than $20 million in transportation investments statewide.

The Cost Share Program provides funding to local entities for transportation projects that improve safety, support job retention and growth, improve access or mobility, relieve congestion and help areas across the state improve the transportation system.
Below are important dates to remember.
For a complete candidate list, click here .

July 15 - advanced voting began by mail
July 20 - advanced voting began in person
August 4 - primary election
November 3 - general election
Visit Topeka Names New President

Visit Topeka and Greater Topeka Partnership has hired Sean Dixon as the next Visit Topeka President . Dixon hails from Springfield, Missouri and previously served as Marketing Director for the Springfield, Missouri Convention & Visitors Bureau. 
“We continue our momentum in Topeka & Shawnee County and adding Sean to this community team will only accelerate our efforts. Sean’s background in the destination development arena will allow him to make an immediate impact,” said Matt Pivarnik, CEO of the Greater Topeka Partnership. Read more .
Several members have expressed an interest in benefitting the host community of the TIAK Annual Tourism Conference each year.

For 2020, the Liberal CVB has chosen the Liberal Area Rape Crisis and Domestic Violence Services (LARC DVS) as the recipient of this new Tourism Cares Project.

LARC DVS serves Grant, Haskell, Morton, Seward, Stanton, and Stevens counties with offices in Liberal, Elkhart, Hugoton, Satanta, and Ulysses. They currently employ 11 advocates, an intake specialist, and an executive director. All services are provided free and confidential to anyone in need. In 2019, they provided services to 544 unduplicated individuals (with 431 of those being new individuals) and sheltered 48.

Donated items are either used by those in the shelter or provided to clients as they begin new lives. If you would like to participate in this giving opportunity, below is a list of requested items:

  • Towels: bath, hand & washcloth
  • Bed Sheets, blankets & comforters, pillows: Twin & Full
  • Personal toiletries: Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, soap, disposal razors, deodorant, tampons & pads, toothpaste & toothbrushes
  • Household: Laundry soap, fabric softener, bleach, household cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizer, paper towels, toilet tissue, glass cleaner, etc.
  • Food Items: all non-perishable

Please bring your donations to the annual conference for LARC DVS to collect. To learn more about the organization, visit larcdvs.com .
June 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 64% property participation and 76% hotel room participation in June.
KDWPT Job Opening

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism is looking to hire a Fiscal, Grant & Research Manager in the Tourism Division in the Office of the Secretary.


September 4, Topeka or by Zoom

TIAK Board Meetings
August 13, by email
October 19, Liberal
December 10, Abilene

TIAK Executive Committee Meetings
September 10, by phone
November 12, Cottonwood Falls Retreat

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

Coupon code: TravelKS

July 30

August 27

September 10