FRANKLIN, Tennessee – The Williamson County Convention & Visitors Bureau, known publicly as Visit Franklin, is celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week by showcasing the positive impact of tourism across Williamson County and offering free visitor experiences. National Travel and Tourism Week is set for May 7-13.
“Tourism is big business in Williamson County with more than $1 billion in direct economic impact in 2021 alone,” said Visit Franklin President and CEO Maureen Haley Thornton. “Because of tourism, each household in Williamson County pays $1,111 less in state and local taxes.
Thornton added, “Hospitality also drives our local economy in other ways, including that the industry employs more than 7,500 workers. National Travel and Tourism Week is a way to celebrate the importance of Williamson County’s hospitality industry while making the community aware of the great things travel and tourism brings.”
During the week of May 7, the Visit Franklin team will participate in presentations with Williamson Inc., Franklin Tomorrow, and other organizations to highlight tourism’s impact across the county. The City of Franklin’s Board of Mayor and Alderman will present a proclamation acknowledging National Travel and Tourism Week May 7. County Mayor Rogers Anderson will make a proclamation at the county commission meeting May 8.
These presentations will highlight how Visit Franklin operates from a portion of the local hotel and vacation rentals’ lodging taxes collected from visitors and how those collections are then reinvested in sales and marketing efforts to attract the world to Williamson County for leisure travel and sports, meetings, and group tour business. According to the most recent data, every dollar invested in efforts by Visit Franklin resulted in $387 of positive economic impact on the community. They will also demonstrate how Williamson County ranks No. 6 out of Tennessee’s 95 counties for positive economic impact because of tourism and that visitors spend $2.86 million per day in our communities across the county.
“We are looking forward to showcasing the wonderful benefits of travel and tourism not just in Franklin but throughout the county and surrounding communities,” said Franklin Mayor Ken Moore, who also serves as chairman of the Visit Franklin board. “I invite everyone to sign up for an Ambassador program, experience one of our many attractions, and learn more about the great things happening in our backyard.”
Visit Franklin’s impact on the community does not just benefit visitors, as residents are encouraged to take advantage of the many opportunities locally. Various opportunities will be highlighted during National Travel and Tourism Week, and residents can take advantage of them at no cost.
Ambassador Program – Visit Franklin has recently retooled its Ambassador program, which offers members of the hospitality industry and community the opportunity to learn about the impact of tourism and experience many of the area’s top attractions with a ride on the new Franklin Hop trolley tour that explores downtown Franklin and surrounding areas. Tuesday, May 8, Visit Franklin will host two Ambassador programs from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The program originates at the Mockingbird Theater at the Factory at Franklin and is offered monthly. Those interested can find more information and register for free here.
Upon completing the Visit Franklin Ambassador program, graduates become part of the Ambassador community. They have access to monthly Ambassador Connect meetups at attractions across the county, an ambassador book club, and a private Facebook community where ambassador-only deals and opportunities are shared.
Rippa Villa Tour – Wednesday, May 9, the community is invited to experience a free house and battlefield tour at Rippa Villa in Spring Hill at 9:30 a.m. Eric Jacobsen, CEO of the Battle of Franklin Trust, will lead the historic home tour. No pre-registration is necessary; those interested in the complimentary tour should arrive 15 minutes before the tour begins, and complimentary treats and coffee from White Sheppard Coffee will be available.
VisitFranklin.com – To promote travel and tourism in Williamson County, Visit Franklin recently launched a revamped website, www.visitfranklin.com, with streamlined navigation to allow visitors to find inspiring and helpful content to plan their vacations more easily. It also features an enhanced ability for visitors to directly book hotel stays, plus get trip planning assistance, recommendations, and more from experts at the visitor center before arriving. In addition to serving those planning trips to Williamson County, the new site is an excellent resource for locals to discover all there is to experience in their backyard, whether looking for a new restaurant, exploring trails, or learning of the latest events using the improved events calendar on www.visitfranklin.com.
Complimentary Vacation Guides – The 2023 print edition of the Visit Franklin Vacation guide is available to help visitors choose their adventure in Williamson County. The guide’s cover showcases Franklin’s newest luxury getaway, Southall Farm & Inn, which opened in late 2022. Readers will find stories about Williamson County’s unique events. Copies of the complimentary guide are available at the Visitor Center in downtown Franklin and various attractions across the county.
ABOUT VISIT FRANKLIN Visit Franklin is the public brand name of the Williamson County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Visit Franklin is the official destination marketing organization for Franklin and the unique communities of Williamson County, Tennessee. Visit Franklin stimulates economic growth by promoting travel and tourism assets such as history, music, attractions, entertainment, the arts, and events to visitors worldwide. For information on Franklin and Williamson County, visit us on the web at VisitFranklin.com.
Matt is the guy who is always ready to share a story with you.
With a passion for new experiences, taking the back roads, and seeing everything possible, Matt serves as Visit Franklin's Senior Director of Public Relations connecting the many unique stories in the Franklin community with great journalists and storytellers worldwide. When not pitching a story idea to travel writers, you’ll likely find him working as a photographer on the sidelines of college and professional sports events across the Southeast.