Sevier County hosts AAA vacation counselors

AAA group tours Wilderness of the Smokies during a trip through Sevierville on Thursday. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Sevier County hosted AAA family counselors on a trip around the Smokies in hopes to help them better sell vacations to the destination.

Thursday the group spent the day exploring Sevierville. The 25 members are from key travel markets for the Smokies like Cincinnati, Dayton, Lexington, and Bluefield, WV.

"The Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain area is one of the top 5 destinations for people that live in our area," said Mark Gabbard, AAA Cincinnati Regional Manager. "Anyone can look and gather information, but to have that first hand experience better enables us to improve our members' experience when they're traveling to this area."

Smoky Mountain tourism leaders say this tour only gives them a taste of the Smokies.

"This lets them experience first hand the vast opportunity for family vacation activities that we have in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge & Sevierville. It's a priceless opportunity," said Mary Hope Maples with the Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Council. "It's certainly enough to wow them and to send them home with some great memories and again they can go share with those families in Cincinnati, Dayton, Lexington and tell them why they need to visit this area."

The 25 member group left the Smokies on Thursday to head home and start selling vacations.

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