It Takes A Village to Welcome a Tourist

It Takes A Village to Welcome a Tourist  —Anne Ross, Director of Tourism

Last weekend, three hundred forty disc golfers from 14 states came to Morristown/Hamblen County to participate in the 2017 Tennessee State Disc Golf Championships. Two hundred seventy of them came from over 50 miles. (Travelling over 50 miles one-way to visit a destination is the tourism industry’s definition of a tourist.) Most of the golfers I talked with (and I talked with just about all of them during check-in) complimented the city’s hospitality and continued commitment to their sport. They commented about the beauty of our downtown, the ease of getting around town, and the wide variety of restaurant offerings. Quite a few of the female golfers did express their disappointment that very few of the speciality shops were open past 5 PM, and others were surprised that many businesses were unaware the tournament was happening in their community.
The latter statement falls on my shoulders. The Chamber’s Tourism Department does send a monthly events email to over 600 businesses and individuals, including both Chamber members and non-members. The email is posted and shared on multiple Facebook and Twitter pages and copies are available at our office. Many of these same events are listed on the Citizen-Tribune’s community calendar in addition to the sponsoring organization’s web and social media sites. Short of knocking on every business door (a logistical impossibility), we are communicating in numerous ways, the news of upcoming community and tourism events. Tourists come to a destination because they have a particular interest in the destination, whether it’s a sporting event, shopping excursion, heritage or cultural tourism site, or an abundance of outdoor activities. The Morris-town area has all of that and more, and we all benefit when the disc golfers, anglers, softball players, tour buses and families come to town and leave their money behind. Businesses, let’s all do our part to welcome these event tourists to town.
If you’d like to receive a copy of the monthly events email, send your email address to