Volume 15, Issue 1 | January 2020
The TIAK Talk is published monthly for members of the Travel Industry Association of Kansas.
By Kelly Peetoom

Happy New Year, TIAK! It’s hard to believe we’re 20 years into the new millennium. What will this decade bring us? When we were kids, we were supposed to have flying cars and robots in every house with space travel by 2020. Well, some of those predictions have come true and others haven’t. So how can we be prepared for the future?

As tourism professionals, we’re always asked to describe what we do daily. It can happen at a networking event, board meeting, or just a simple conversation with an elected official.  

So today I would ask for you to be prepared for that question. Know your mission statement, goals, and a few action items or projects that you’re currently working on. Memorize a quick elevator speech, create a five-minute speech, and talking points you can utilize for a group presentation or setting. One of my favorite quotes comes from John Wooden, legendary UCLA basketball coach, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”

Mark your calendar for this year’s Destination Statehouse in Topeka on Feb. 5, 2020. There will be plenty of opportunities to use your elevator speech, talking points, or advocacy goals for TIAK with your elected officials. Hope to see you there!
Destination Statehouse 2020

Destination Statehouse 2020 is fast-approaching. Are you registered? If not, sign up now!

Please plan to join us on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 in Topeka and connect with travel leaders from around the state as we join forces to collectively educate our legislators as to why travel matters in Kansas. It’s important we speak directly to our legislators about the issues that are important to our success. Your voice matters. Let’s celebrate tourism as a driver of economic development!

Registration is still open on the website here . There you can find an agenda and hotel information.

Invite Your Legislators!

Your legislators will receive an invitation to the evening showcase event at the Cyrus Hotel. Please share and extend your own invitation to your elected officials and encourage them to RSVP.

In addition, be sure to make your appointments with your legislators as soon as possible. You may do so by contacting their office to arrange the visit. Contact information for the Senate may be found here . Contact information for House members may be accessed here . And don't forget to print and bring along your Hawver's Ultimate Guide for Day on the Hill.

We hope your Destination IS the Statehouse next month, as we seek to advance the influence of Kansas’ tourism professionals like you. 
Destination Capitol Hill 2020

If you've never attended the U.S. Travel Association's Destination Capitol Hill (DCH), 2020 is your year. On April 1-2, travel leaders from across the country will travel to Washington, D.C. to educate policymakers about the power of travel.

The program combines a legislative day on Capitol Hill with advocacy training, guest speakers and peer-to-peer networking. DCH provides delegates with an opportunity to learn about upcoming legislation that impacts travel, network with peers and meet with members of Congress to stress the importance of travel as an economic driver.

Watch this video to learn more!
TIAK Board Spotlight
By Samantha Kudrick
My name is Samantha Kudrick, and I have been the Tourism Director for Visit Coffeyville for the past five years. I have been a Coffeyville native my whole life, except for the four years I was away for college. After graduating from Kansas State University in 2013, I moved back home for what I thought might be a temporary stay. The more I got involved in my hometown the more I realized this was home for me.
There were many TIAK events that I was nervous and uncomfortable to get involved with in the beginning. Destination Statehouse was one that I pushed myself to go to because I knew the importance of being in front of my legislators and networking with them. The annual Kansas Tourism Conference is always such a fun and educational event. It is one event that I never want to miss! This past year I was able to earn my Kansas Destination Specialist award which was an exciting accomplishment.
I have gained so much knowledge and met so many great mentors in the tourism industry, thanks to being involved in TIAK. My organization has been involved in TIAK for several years, and I have enjoyed being able to continue that membership with my time here. I am new to the TIAK Board and to the marketing committee, so I look forward to jumping right in and helping make tourism better for our state.
Tourism in Coffeyville is important to me not just because it’s my job, but because it’s my home. If I can use the knowledge and skills to help make my home a better place for others to enjoy and visit, then that just makes the “job” part even better!
Governor’s Appointments to State Fair and Tourism

Congratulations to Holly Lofton who was appointed to the Kansas State Fair Board by Governor Laura Kelly on January 3. Lofton is the director of tourism for the Lindsborg Convention and Visitors Bureau. She also a TIAK board member. Read more.

Another big congratulations to former TIAK board member Karen Hibbard for being appointed by Governor Kelly to the Council on Travel and Tourism. Hibbard is the Vice President of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce and the director of the Manhattan Convention and Visitors Bureau. Read more.
Economic Development Initiatives Fund Audit Report

T he Legislative Post Audit (LPA) reported to the House Commerce Committee on January 22 a review of the Economic Development Initiatives Fund (EDIF).

The LPA found that in fiscal year 2018, the state spent about $42.3 million of EDIF funds, but only about $7.8 million (18%) went to programs consistent with specific legislative intent.

The report concluded..."The Legislature created the EDIF to provide dedicated funding for economic development in Kansas. It has been more than 30 years since its creation, but there is still very little guidance or oversight of the fund. The Legislature currently transfers a significant portion of EDIF funds to the State General Fund, which is not reserved for special economic development activities. As a result of missing oversight or controls, the state may be missing out on opportunities to use the fund more effectively for its intended purpose." Click here for the full LPA study.
December Lodging Report

TIAK has an agreement with Smith Travel Research (STR) to provide members with the monthly statewide STR report on hotel occupancy. Several TIAK members also receive their local community reports. Click here for monthly and year-to-date comparisons provided directly by STR.

Kansas had 64% property participation and 77% hotel room participation in December.
Oklahoma Bans Travel to California
As millions of people across the United States come together for the National March for Life, Governor Kevin Stitt announced on January 23 a ban on state-funded travel to the State of California.

“California and its elected officials over the past few years have banned travel to the State of Oklahoma in an effort to politically threaten and intimidate Oklahomans for their personal values. Enough is enough. If California’s elected officials don’t want public employees traveling to Oklahoma, I am eager to return the gesture on behalf of Oklahoma’s pro-life stance. I am proud to be Governor of a state that fights for the most vulnerable among us, the unborn,” said Gov. Stitt  

The most recent government action from California came from the City of San Francisco in October 2019, which banned city-paid travel to the Sooner State, citing Oklahoma’s laws that protect and ensure the right of an unborn child’s life.  Read more.
Job Opening

The Kansas City Kansas Convention & Visitors Bureau is seeking a Visitor Services Coordinator. This position is the primary contact for visitor inquires and performs clerical and administrative functions including front desk and office operations, visitor services fulfillment, database entry, reporting and administrative assistance duties. Click here for more info and to apply.

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

TIAK Executive Committee Meetings
March 12, by phone
June 10, Olathe
July 9, by phone
September 10, by phone
November 12, Cottonwood Falls Retreat

TIAK Board Meetings
February 6, Topeka
April 9, Salina
June 11, Olathe
August 13, by email
October 19, Liberal
December 10, Abilene

Coupon code: TravelKS

February 6

February 13

February 20

February 27