Volume 16, Issue 2 | February 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

Hello fellow tourism professionals and welcome to one of my favorite sports seasons: political season. The good news is that we don’t have to worry about Destination Statehouse being cancelled due to a super bowl parade. The bad news is…we don’t have to worry about a super bowl parade cancelling Destination Statehouse. At least Tom Brady showed some of us “old guys” that there is still hope for us.
As far as political season is concerned, the Kansas Statehouse is “burning up the ink,” as they used to say when the bills were actually printed in the basement. Yes, I have been around capital buildings that long. As TIAK navigates the 2021 political season, we couldn’t have two better people behind our initiatives than Natalie and Marlee. It is a pleasure working with them. My only disappointment this year is that we can't see more of it in-person in Topeka. Read more.
Tourism ERO Update

Last week, the full Senate was scheduled to work a Senate Resolution to approve ERO 48, moving Kansas Tourism back to the Kansas Department of Commerce. However, the Senate did not take up the resolution.

The Legislature has 60 days to act on an ERO. If no action is taken by March 26, ERO 48 becomes effective. Action is not anticipated in either Chamber, and we expect the ERO to become law.
Tour Kansas From Home

Kansas Tourism has made it simple to see the Sunflower State safely from home. They've assembled some great Kansas resources for families, from bucket list items you've never had time for or a little something the entire family can learn.

Visit their virtual travel page to see some of Kansas’ best exhibits and points of interest from your couch. Explore them now, plan to see them in person in the future.
Legislative IKE Report

Last week, Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz presented to both the House Appropriations and Senate Transportation Committees on the status of the new Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program. The new IKE programs are targeted toward preservation projects, increasing access to broadband, innovative technology, and short line rail service.

Legislators were pleased to hear that the "bank of KDOT" is slowly closing as sales tax transfers coming out of the State Highway Fund are going down over time. Lorenz reported that due to a more stable funding source, construction letting is up by $136 million from last year and bid prices are down by $10 million.

Click here to view the entire IKE presentation.
$13.5 million in Transportation Alternatives Projects Awarded

Governor Laura Kelly and Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz visited the site of two connecting Kansas State Parks trail systems on February 18 to announce the awarding of $13.5 million for 18 projects selected for inclusion in its Transportation Alternatives (TA) program for Federal Fiscal Year 2022-23.

“The projects we announced today will help our communities make the kinds of improvements that will ensure that Kansas remains the best state in the nation to work, live, and raise a family,” Governor Kelly said. “These are projects that make it safer for children to walk and bike to school, they will add sidewalks for Kansans to walk, bike or use a wheelchair, and they continue to build on our efforts to improve access to our state’s many outdoor recreational opportunities.” Read more.
Distillery Hopes to Attract More Visitors

A legislative committee last week considered a bill that would allow an alcoholic liquor manufacturer to obtain a drinking establishment license if located within two miles of the manufacturing premises.

Under this situation, the drinking establishment would be allowed to sell the alcoholic liquor manufactured by its manufacturer’s licensee but would also be required to acquire all other beer, cereal malt beverage, wine, and spirits from a distributor, retailer, or farm winery licensed under Kansas law.

The proponents of House Bill 2057 are hoping that this policy would be a driver for economic development and tourism, modeled after Weston, MO. MGP Distillery in Atchison told lawmakers that allowing a tasting facility within a few blocks would allow them to attract more visitors as a destination spot.
US Travel Update: Leisure & Hospitality Accounts for 39% of Jobs Lost

Almost four in 10 of all the U.S. jobs lost since February of last year are in the Leisure & Hospitality industry, according to analysis of the latest Department of Labor national jobs report—triple the number of the next-hardest-hit industry.

The meager 49,000 jobs created by the U.S. economy in January were viewed by economists as a disappointment and a major sign of lingering pandemic-related stress in labor markets. But according to analysis created for the U.S. Travel Association by the research firm Tourism Economics, the real underlying story is the 61,000 jobs lost by the Leisure & Hospitality sector last month. The U.S. would have gained 110,000 jobs overall without the decline in Leisure & Hospitality jobs. Read more.
January 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 62% property participation & 77% hotel room participation in January.

STR Updates

How did we close out the year in terms of hotel performance?

U.S. hotels in December 2020 performed much like the rest of the year when compared to December 2019:

Room Supply -1.8%
Room Demand -33.6%
Occupancy -32.3%
ADR -27.6%
RevPAR -51.0%
Room Revenue -51.9%

474 properties in the U.S. are still temporarily closed. This represents 2.2% of rooms in the U.S.

Europe still has the highest percentage of closed properties coming in at nearly 5% of existing hotels.

When looking at the year-over-year occupancy and ADR percentage changes, we experienced the worst declines in our history.


TIAK Committee Meetings
March 11, June 9, July 8, September 9, November 11

TIAK Board Meetings
April 8, June 10, August 12, October 18, December 9

June Dinner and Educational Seminar
June 9-10

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

Coupon code: TravelKS

March 4

March 11

March 18

March 25