NASHVILLE, Oct. 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Tennessee Department of Tourism Development is kicking off its busiest travel season with a new campaign aimed at protecting the health of visitors and residents. “For the Love of Tennessee, Travel Safe” initiative reminds residents to play, but play safe, as they explore the state’s unparalleled scenic beauty, outdoor activities, urban centers and charming small towns while following key safety guidelines such as wearing a mask, social distancing and sanitation. The campaign, produced in partnership with advertising agency VMLY&R, launched today and will run through December with television, print, digital, radio and OOH ads showcasing the many ways residents and visitors can travel safely throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the campaign, Tennessee natives and singer-songwriters Drew and Ellie Holcomb hit the road for an epic 1,600-mile RV ride across the state with their kids, exploring hidden gems and natural wonders where social distancing is effortless and expected. Drew and Ellie also wrote new music during the trip, inspired by the sights and sounds of the state, which will be released as part of the campaign. Holcomb Family Adventures offers safe dining and activities in communities including Chattanooga, Kingsport, Lynchburg, Memphis, Nashville, Paris, the Smokies and more, multiple Tennessee State Parks and Obed Wild and Scenic River of the American national park in Wartburg. Their adventures will begin in a 4-part web series beginning Wednesday October 21 via @TNvacation on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. New episodes will debut every week. The song “Tennessee” by Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors serves as the soundtrack for one of the few commercials slated to air this fall.
“We had an unforgettable time teaming up with Tennessee Tourism for a week-long adventure to highlight the many beautiful destinations to explore safely. Tennessee has always been my home and now it’s my family, and I’m thrilled with the great memories we’ll continue to make in this great state,” said Drew Holcomb.
Tourism in Tennessee saw record growth in the first three months of 2020. The pandemic is the biggest crisis to hit the industry and has halted a decade of growth for Tennessee. According to US Travel, travel spending in Tennessee was down 87% in April and the industry could suffer losses of 35-45% statewide in 2020. As the state begins to see gains as as visitors resume their travels, the recovery is slower in some parts of the state.
As the state’s second-largest industry, restoring tourism in a safe manner is essential to restoring the lives and livelihoods of Tennesseans. Revenue generated from tourism in Tennessee generates jobs, economic growth, and supports essential services like education and health care. In 2019, visitors to Tennessee generated a record $23 billion in travel spending and $1.92 billion in state and local tax revenue.
In partnership with Governor Bill Lee and the Financial Stimulus Accountability Group, the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development has developed a relief program to directly support tourism through the Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund. To help the industry recover, Tourist Development received $25 million in CARES Act funding to promote safety and inspire responsible travel. $15 million in grants have been awarded to Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) in all 95 counties. Additional funding will support Tennessee State Parks and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
Follow @TNvacation on social media and share the trip using #madeinTN and #loveofTN, or visit www.fortheloveofTN.com for more details on how to travel safely in Tennessee.
Additional high-res images and campaign creation available for download here.
About Drew Holcomb:
A Nashville-based singer-songwriter known for his rich voice and folksy songwriting
material, Drew Holcomb went from a promising solo act to a successful bandleader when he
formed Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors in the late 2000s. Along with his wife, fellow singer/songwriter Ellie Holcomb, Drew and his band established themselves as a passionate and popular American band, finding chart success with albums like that of 2013. good light2015 Medicineand 2019 Dragons. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Holcomb grew up listening to his father’s collection of classic ’70s singer/songwriter albums – including tracks by Bob Dylan, Carole King and James Taylor – and he turned to their musical influence. Holcomb’s interest in music grew while attending the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. After marrying Ellie Holcomb, the couple moved to Nashville where they currently reside with their three children Emmylou (7), Huck (5) and Rivers (2). In addition to his distinguished recording and touring career, Holcomb is the founder of Chattanooga’s Moon River Music Festival, held annually in Coolidge Park, as well as the Magnolia Record Club, a vinyl record subscription service. More recently, Holcomb has teamed up with others including Peyton Manning, Andy Roddick and Jim Nance to release a new premium whiskey, Sweeten’s Cove. Holcomb’s music has been featured in over 75 national television shows and commercials, including Nashville, Pretty Little Liars, How I Met Your Mother and Parenthood. The group’s work has been featured by NPR, rolling stone, Weekly entertainment, Billboardand more.
About the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development
Tennessee is the home of blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll, offering an unparalleled experience of beauty, history and family adventure, steeped in music who creates vacations that are “America’s Soundtrack”. . Made in Tennessee. In 2019, Tennessee’s tourism industry generated $23.27 billion in economic impact, over $1.92 billion in state and local tax revenue, and 195,000 tourism-related jobs. Explore more at tnvacation.com and join other Tennessee travelers by following “tnvacation” on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube or “Tennessee” on Snapchat.
Amanda Murphy, Tennessee Department of Tourism Development
[email protected] or 615-927-6081
Jill Kilgore, Tennessee Department of Tourism Development
[email protected] or 615-927-1320