Chattanooga Tourism Summit celebrates local industries

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – The 2021 Chattanooga Tourism Summit kicked off at 9 Tuesday morning by Zoom, which served to give consumers and business leaders alike a look into the state of Chattanooga’s hospitality and tourism industries after being hindered by the pandemic.

The virtual program included a local musical performance, several keynote addresses by prominent local business leaders, as well as two breakout sessions for industry professionals.

Barry White, President and CEO of Chattanooga Tourism Company, says that the event was meant to serve as a way to highlight how the local hospitality and tourism industries have found ways to prosper in spite of great challenges.

“We really wanted to focus on the positives and the successes that our community experienced in 2020. We’re all so familiar with the hard times and the tragedies from Covid to the tornado but we really just wanted to focus on how we persevered as a community through those challenges,” says White.

Chief Sports Officer Tim Morgan also says that the local sports scene played a key role in the recovery of Chattanooga’s hospitality industry, citing little leagues as a big component.

“The objective, as started with this conversation, create that safe environment and give this kids an opportunity to compete and then ultimately the economics that come along with these people travelling in to compete have kept things going in the hotel industry,” says Morgan.

Morgan says that he’s optimistic about the industry going into 2021 and beyond, saying that the demand for sporting events is there – and that the key is maintaining a safe approach.

“I’m extremely optimistic as long as we take a safe approach to producing these quality events, our destination will be part of that experience and they’re going to have that same safe approach when they go to a restaurant, when they got an attraction, it’s all centered on creating that safe environment for everybody to engage,” Morgan says.

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