TOPEKA – In honor of National Travel and Tourism Week, Visit Topeka Inc. and Friends of the Topeka Zoo are partnering to host a Hospitality Appreciation Night at the Topeka Zoo for tourism industry employees. From 4-7 p.m. on Monday, May 4, invitees will enjoy a free meal, animal interactions, a sneak peek at the Topeka Zoo’s summer campaign and fun activities for kids of all ages. For free entry, hospitality workers are asked to bring their name tag or a pay stub.
“Tourism in Topeka and Shawnee County is an annual $320 million industry with more than 5,000 workers. These employees are the first impression visitors have to our city,” said Brett Oetting, Visit Topeka Inc. president and CEO. “We appreciate their hard work and want them to know how important they are to our industry and the city’s success.”
In addition to the Hospitality Night at the Zoo, Visit Topeka Inc. will offer free “Know Your City” training to local tourism partners again this year. The purpose of the training is to improve hospitality and increase guest satisfaction throughout Topeka. Tourism partners can participate or get more information on the program by contacting Rosa Cavazos, tourism development manager for Visit Topeka Inc.
“There is always something wonderful happening in Topeka,” said Cavazos. “The ‘Know Your City’ training will increase the ability of hospitality workers such as hotel desk clerks and restaurant servers to make suggestions on things to do, where to go and what resources to use. We really want to focus on increasing guest satisfaction while boosting spending in Topeka.”
National Travel and Tourism Week, an annual tradition that started in 1984, allows communities to champion the power of tourism during the first full week of May each year. In 2013, Kansas received 33.7 million visitors which generated $9.5 billion in tourism spending. The average visitor to Kansas spent $177 per trip. In terms of jobs, tourism was the seventh largest industry in the state and supported 91,265 Kansas jobs in 2013.
As Topeka’s official destination marketing organization, Visit Topeka Inc. is dedicated to improving the area economy through marketing the region as an exceptional destination for meetings, events, sports and tourism. Visit Topeka Inc. is committed to advocating for community development that will not only attract more visitors, but will enhance the community’s quality of life.