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Fayette County RFP for Tourism Planning Services


In 2017, Fayette County was awarded $10,000 for planning services through the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) Tourism Enhancement Grant. This was a matching grant with a total budget of $20,000 to develop a county-wide Tourism Asset Plan. Tourism is one of the largest industries and economic drivers in Tennessee. In 2015, the industry saw another year of record breaking numbers with an economic impact exceeding $18.4 billion dollars, collecting $1.6 billion in state and local sales tax revenue and providing more than 157,400 jobs.  The TNECD Tourism Enhancement grant was developed to provide Tourism infrastructure resources to enhance and improve the Tourism Economic Impact in Tennessee counties. The Tourism Enhancement Grant was funded by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

In 2015, Fayette County tourism economic impact increased by 1.75% bringing in $8.64 million in tourism expenditures. Fayette County has some amazing assets such as Historic La Grange, Ames Plantation, Mineral Sloughs Bottom and so much more. Fayette County desires the development of a guiding document with action steps to enhance Fayette County tourism assets and continue to increase market and economic impact.

Study Objectives

Fayette County Government seeks professional services for the purpose of developing a county-wide tourism asset plan for Fayette County, TN.  The Plan, utilizing existing efforts, will create a framework for enhancing current assets to drive and increase economic impact.

Tennessee Enhancement Grant Purpose and Objects:

TNECD Tourism Enhancement is to be used toward the creation of a county-wide Tourism Asset Action Plan. The Asset Action Plan must be a review of county tourism assets, recognition of gaps and missed opportunities, and include action steps for increasing the tourism economic impact with measurements and outcomes that match those listed in the full application.

Fayette County History

Fayette County, Tennessee is in the southwest corner of Tennessee, just east of Memphis. The largest town in the county is Oakland and the county seat is Somerville. Fayette County has roughly 39,000 residents. The Tennessee General Assembly established Fayette County on September 29, 1824, and named it in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette, French general and statesman. The county seat, Somerville, was named to honor Lieutenant Robert Somerville, hero of the battle of Tohopeka in Alabama. The county has had a long rural and agricultural background and in recent years has witnessed agricultural diversification, with soybeans becoming an important cash crop, followed by beef cattle, dairying, and egg production. In the 1990’s the county started to experience rapid residential growth, and increased its population about 11,000 in ten years. Most of Fayette County residents work in neighboring Shelby County. Fayette County Government employs about 250 individuals, with another 50 at Public Works and about 600 in the School System.

Scope of Services

The scope of services prepared by the consultant should address the minimum standards as established in the Study Objective section of this document.  The consultant will work with an in-house staff team from Fayette County, the Memphis Area Association of Governments, local governments and chambers, tourism attractions, and associated organizations identified as having a critical interest in tourism economic impact. The document developed by the consultant will ultimately facilitate the effective development and marketing of Fayette County and area attractions to maximize tourism revenues and potential.

The tourism asset plan should include the following:

Phase 1: The Research

  • Initial meeting with Fayette County Staff and Grant Administrator to review the project schedule, schedule meetings and begin the process of data acquisition.
  • Identify trends in the tourism market and the implications of tourism development in Fayette County
  • Gather data and analyze the physical (infrastructure e.g. recreational assets), economic, social and environmental characteristics of the community to identify key opportunities and challenges with regard to tourism, consider how these opportunities and challenges can be addressed, and assess the potential for enhanced tourism.
  • Identify and collect inventory of existing and potential tourism assets and events (asset mapping)
  • Conduct/facilitate charrettes with key stakeholders and engage residents

Phase 2: The Strategy

  • Identify opportunities to develop and promote tourism
  • Identify current assets and opportunities for enhancement
  • Identify recommendations regarding the role that Fayette County Government plays in tourism destination development, marketing and management
  • Develop and prioritize short, medium and long-term goals and recommendations with an action plan for implementation strategies.

Phase 3: The Implementation

  • Prioritize improvements, development and potential future property acquisition
  • Develop a thorough Action Plan, including vision and mission statements, for future tourism enhancement and economic growth.
  • Produce a one-year business or implementation plan detailing
    • Opportunities for investment in tourism product development
    • Recommendations for action
  • Develop a cost analysis and budget for the implementation of the plan and potential sources of monies.

TNECD Minimum Deliverables for Tourism Asset Action Plan Project:

  • A written proposal is required. All deliverables must be outlined in the proposal.
  • Proposal to include these deliverables:
    • Objective of project – A county wide Tourism Strategic Plan and Implementation Action Plan to prioritize tourism development efforts.
    • Methodology for tracking impact, and specific and measurable action steps
    • Cost (including expenses)
    • Project Schedule
    • Make periodic reports to the Fayette County Staff and Grant Administrator.
    • Minimum deliverables include a final on-site presentation of study results, along with a written report, and a video of the presentation to community leadership. The report and all project materials must be submitted in hardcopy and on a USB drive.

TNECD Minimum Requirement for Tourism Consultants:

  • The consultant must provide a minimum of two (2) references to demonstrate experience in tourism destination research, assessment, strategic planning, and development. Case studies with client contact information are required.
  • Minimum of three years of membership in statewide, regional and national tourism industry associations such as Destination Marketing Association, Inc. (DMAI), Southeast Tourism Society, Inc. (STS), Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA), etc. Please list industry association memberships and years of membership for each.
  • Insurance Requirements: Consultant must provide proof of liability insurance, Workman’s Comp, and Errors & Omissions Insurance.

Request for Proposal Response:

In the response to this RFP, the consultant shall provide a detailed description of the tasks involved in the execution of the aforementioned Scope of Services and the related costs for each task.  Each task shall be assigned a length of time schedule necessary to complete the study.  An electronic copy of the proposal must be e-mailed to Rhea “Skip” Taylor, Fayette County Mayor at and Grant Administrator Jasmine Champion at Please attach a minimum of two (2) references with the proposal.

Please click here for full RFP.


“The folks at MAAG have been a real asset for the Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce. The assistance they provided with our DRA grant was immeasurable. Without it, I doubt if we could have pulled it off. The staff is passionate about their work and their commitment to making the
Memphis Region a better place is most evident.”

John Threadgill - President, Bartlett Area Chamber