January Newsletter

Welcome to 2021. I am not sure if I have ever entered a new year with such hope and anticipation for the future. As difficult as 2020 was for our industry, I also had the benefit of witnessing great examples of growth and development. I believe 2021 is going to be a great year.

For many years, each January I have chosen a word of the year that helps me define an area that I want to focus on for the next 12 months in both my personal and professional life. It is surprising how often that word will come to mind throughout the year. I found choosing a word for 2021 was more difficult than previous years, maybe just too much that I need to work on coming off the difficult year we had in 2020. But I did finally commit to a word and wanted to share with you.

My word for 2021 is Perspective. And to me, the word perspective has two closely related, yet significantly different meanings. First, perspective means actively finding a way of looking at a challenge from a new angle. Usually I approach a challenge like it is a giant bolder that I just need to get through. And like a bulldozer, I just keep banging up against it over and over. In 2021, I want to consciously step back, adjust my angle, and I might just be able to see a better way around it. The second definition I have for perspective is having the capacity of viewing a situation from someone else’s point of view. And that is hard. I typically view a situation through my own knowledge and experiences, and it will take conscious work to step back and allow myself to be open enough to view through someone else’s eyes.

2020 has left the Kansas Tourism Industry with many challenges. Each of you are faced with giant boulders in front of you. As I write this, I am sitting here looking at a couple big ones on my desk also. My perspective that I choose is going to be key for 2021, whether it is pushing myself to view a challenge from a different vantage point or reminding myself to look at a situation through diverse eyes. I hope that you will join me in doing so, as we move forward in the next few months.

Kansas Tourism has some exciting plans for 2021, that we will be sharing with you throughout the year. I look forward to working with each of you as we tell the great story of Kansas.

So, what is your word for 2021? I would love to hear.

Kansas Day

This year, Kansas Day will be a celebration of everything that makes Kansas special.  Look for a special email in the next few days with more information on how you can get involved.

If you have long standing Kansas Day events happening in your area please let Colby know.

Tourism Economics recently presented on the tourism industry’s road to recovery in 2021 and beyond.

Some Key Points:

  • Domestic Leisure Travel Spending Expected to top 2019 levels by 2022 with domestic business travel lagging slightly behind (Early 2023 or Late 2022).
  • International Travel will lag behind in catching up to 2019 levels by a year or so, depending on when borders are opened and vaccinations.
  • Projected Massive GDP growth in 2021 due to large balances of consumer savings accounts and pent up demand, as well as higher household incomes. (Household incomes above $100K make up for 59% of lodging spending so this is a great outlook!
View the Report

Kansas Tourism Regions


Articles & Research

  • For some small Kansas businesses, zeroing in on their uniqueness has helped them endure 2020’s turbulence. To read their remarkable stories, click here
  • Today's Digital Focus is More Important for Hoteliers Than Ever - In this piece by Hotel Executive about recovery from pandemic setbacks, Chris McAndrews, Vice President of Marketing –Hospitality Cloud, discusses the importance of digital. He notes that it is easy to see the case for technology in the immediate term with the predominance of virtual events, but that the case is equally as strong for meetings well into and beyond the recovery period.

  • Sports ETA is offering a new program called the Sports Tourism Learning Institute which will offer a tiered level of education and potential certification for all categories of the association’s membership and at all levels of experience.  You can participate in a FREE entry program called Power Play. It already has a dozen opportunities available on the association’s landing site. The courses in this first tier are designed to be shorter by nature — an hour or less — on a range of topics in the sports-event industry.


  • Wednesday, Jan 13 - Virtual Huddle
  • Monday, Jan 18 - State Offices Closed
  • Friday, Jan 29 - Kansas Day


  • Friday, Feb 5 - Governor's Council on Travel & Tourism Mtg
  • Wednesday, Feb 10 - Virtual Destination Statehouse
  • Wednesday, Feb 10 - Virtual Huddle


  • Wednesday, Mar 17 - Virtual Huddle

We are continuously getting new and renewing Kansas Agritourism businesses that we'd love for you to explore and highlight in your own communities! For more information on the Kansas Agritourism Program, please contact Sue Stringer.

New & Renewing in December 2020

Jefferson Hill Vineyards & Guest House McLouth
Kansas Farmland Outfitters Potwin
Liquid Art Winery & Estate Manhattan
NorthShore Guest House, LLC Marion
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