published Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Chattanooga tourism’s gains outpace regional competitors

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Chattanooga’s hotel tax revenues, a yardstick for the tourism industry, increased by 18.6 percent between June 2010 and June 2011.

Those figure put Chattanooga’s tourism growth leaps and bounds ahead of competitors such as Atlanta, Asheville, N.C., and Savannah, Ga., which all saw less than 10 percent growth, according to Bob Doak, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau.

At the CVB’s annual meeting today, Doak said he was quoting figures from the Hamilton County Trustee, which monitors local hotel tax revenue.

“Any time you see a business that’s up 18 percent in this economy, you know they’re doing something right,” said Sen. Andy Berke, D-Chattanooga. “Anything we can do to grow, that helps the region and the state.”

Doak told about 1,000 local community and business leaders that the local tourism industry is strong and he attributed that strength to award-winning advertising and the city’s proximity to millions of potential tourists.

“It’s just a combination of those things,” he said. “It’s a very competitive world we live in. We have to stay focused, we have to stay on our toes.”

For complete details, read tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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