Tourism is big business in Cumberland County and the state of Tennessee.
Tennessee state officials visited the Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce and provided a wealth of information for a roundtable discussion County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr. organized.
"Tourism is economic development. Those are four important words that mean a lot to your community. The economic impact is huge," Lee Curtis, legislative liaison of Tennessee Department of Tourist Development said.
John Carr, assistant commissioner of Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, also attended the event.
Several city officials, business owners and Chamber members attended the meeting as well.
According to the 2012 economic impact of tourism in Cumberland County $104.83 million was generated in direct tourism expenditures. Tourism generated 940 jobs in Cumberland County, produced $22.06 million in payroll, created $4.33 million in local tax revenue and $5.75 million in state tax revenue.
According to these figures, each household in Cumberland County paid $433.90 less in local county and state taxes.
On an average day in Cumberland County in 2012, $287,205 in daily expenditures were generated; $60,438 in daily payroll; $11,863 were created in local tax revenues and $15,753 in state tax revenues.
This information comes from the U.S. Census Bureau and is the most current information from the state's Economic Impact of Travel on Tennessee's Counties report.
Curtis said, "I love coming to Crossville because it's like coming home. When I was a child, coming to see shows at the Playhouse, going to the state park, it created a lot of great memories. People love that. That's the kind of things that bring them here, the small town atmosphere. I'll tell you, I can have more fun shopping here in downtown than I can in Green Hills Mall in Nashville."
Curtis said it was important for business owners to reach out and support one and other to help support their businesses.
"The rising tide lifts all boats. Work with the Chamber, help promote others, know your visitors and tourists. If we work together, we can all benefit from tourism," Curtis said.
She encouraged business owners to get to know the welcome centers throughout the state and to reach out to the state's tourist development department.
She gave praise to the city, county and Chamber for the Gateway to the Big Sourth Fork Crossville-Cumberland County Visitors Center.
"Get your information out there in the welcome centers. Sometimes these places are the first impression for an area, and if your information is there it can bring more people to your business and your town," Curtis said.
Curtis also discussed the Promised Land Trail, Pie in the Sky Trail and Civil War Trails that go throughout the state and include Cumberland County.
"The Promised Land Trail and these trails were designed for getting people out and away from the big cities and off to the tows along the scenic byways, helping bring tourism into the smaller, lesser known areas," she said.
Curtis encouraged those attending to embrace social media through sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to promote their businesses and the area.
"Look at the big picture and see where you can connect with the other areas in the state. Reach out to us at tnvacation.com, and we'll promote your events and happenings in your community. That's what we're here for ... We want you to think of ways to tap into a new direction. We can help you with PR and promoting your area. You are who we're promoting. Make sure you have the tools to promote yourselves," Curtis said.
Curtis also discussed the new commercials that are being aired "Made in Tennessee."
The group watched four new commercials, including a debut of one featuring Dolly Parton that had not yet been released.
The tourism roundtable meeting was one of three that Carey organized. The other meetings were on agriculture and industry.