‘Sights & Sounds’ tour fill London’s Waterloo station launching month-long campaign to drive UK visitors to Tennessee

Tennessee Dept. of Tourist Development, tourism partners promote Tennessee and new Heathrow Service to 275,000 daily Waterloo commuters

LONDON – Nashville singer-songwriter Gill Landry serenaded Londoners passing through Waterloo Station Monday afternoon, stopping busy commuters in their tracks and helping kick off a month-long marketing campaign, “Sights & Sounds of Tennessee” sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, Brand USA, Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp., Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau and Knoxville Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Landry was joined by representatives from Tennessee’s tourism industry and 2017 UK Americana Music Association Artist of the Year Yola Carter to officially open a 14-day exhibition at Waterloo Station, which welcomes 275,000 commuters each day, and formally introduce all of Tennessee to British travelers seeking new international travel destinations.

Hundreds of passers-by visited “Sights & Sounds of Tennessee” on its first day, standing atop a giant map of Tennessee and using headphones to listen to music recordings and other sounds one can experience only in Tennessee. Using their mobile devices, visitors also accessed corresponding websites offering 360-degree videos of the Great Smoky Mountains or popular music venues in Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville, virtually transporting themselves to Tennessee.

The Waterloo installation is just one piece of a larger campaign in support of Tennessee Tourism’s The Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee brand that includes out-of-home advertising across London. Campaign creative includes notable Tennessee music destinations such as Ryman Auditorium, Stax Museum of American Soul Music and Tennessee Theatre, promotes the British Airways flight to Nashville and encourages British travelers to learn more about vacation opportunities across the entire state.

A partnership with Spotify enables Londoners to scan a special code posted to outdoor boards and immediately listen to Tennessee music playlists created especially for Nashville, Knoxville and Memphis. Spotify users can also visit a special Spotify “travel agent” landing page, tnholiday.com, where Spotify will serve up images of Tennessee destinations and attractions that match the music tastes of the user.

Tennessee is the fastest-growing state for international travel in the U.S., with international travelers spending $934 million in Tennessee last year, up 11 percent year-over-year and 39 percent since 2012, according to a report from Tourism Economics data issued earlier this month. The United Kingdom is Tennessee’s second-largest international market, behind Canada, followed by Australia and Germany.

Statewide, direct domestic and international travel expenditures reached an all-time record high of $19.3 billion in 2016, up 4.7 percent over the previous year, as reported by the U.S. Travel Association.

Overall, Tennessee experienced 113.6 million person stays in 2017, an increase of 3.3 percent over 2016, according to the latest research from DK SHIFFLET. Tennessee ranks among the Top 10 travel destinations in the U.S. for the fourth consecutive year.

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development’s marketing campaign, “The Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee” promotes the state as the birthplace of seven different forms of popular music—blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly, and rock ‘n’ roll. Tennessee has more musicians per capita than any other place in the world.

Tennessee’s world-renowned music attractions including Graceland, Beale Street, Sun Studio, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Bluebird Cafe, Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Grand Ole Opry and the famous Ryman Auditorium attract millions of visitors from around the world each year.

“The UK is home to some of the world’s greatest travelers, many of whom have been coming to Tennessee for years to experience The Soundtrack of America and enjoy our Southern hospitality, great cities, rich history and beautiful outdoors,” said Kevin Triplett, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. “The new nonstop service aboard British Airways makes reaching Tennessee easier than ever, and the exhibit at Waterloo Station will help us attract interest from even more visitors from across the Atlantic.”

“The Sights & Sounds of Tennessee” exhibit is a cooperative marketing effort led by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, working in partnership with BrandUSA, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp., Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau and Knoxville Convention & Visitors Bureau, to formerly introduce Tennessee to Londoners through an interactive sight, sound and taste experience in London’s Waterloo Station.

For more information,visit www.tnvacation.com.

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