Sevier County Tourism Business Guidelines
The purpose of the Web site is to provide information about the county, offer links and advertising opportunities to the lodging properties who pay the Sevier County Lodging Tax and other taxpaying, tourism-related businesses located within the county and not to be an avenue of speech for all citizens.
The following policies relate to any and all Internet activities governed by the Sevier County Tourism committee, including, but not limited to, the Sevier County Tourism web site:
- The services of the Sevier County Tourism Committee are only provided to all Sevier County Tourism related businesses with the exception of those lodging properties and management companies that do not pay the Sevier County Lodging Tax. In order to be promoted by the Sevier County Tourism website, a business must be licensed by Sevier County,operate solely for profit, and not be competitive with the efforts of the Sevier County Tourism Committee.
- Sevier County Lodging properties must remain current with tax payments to participate in all marketing opportunities of the Sevier County Tourism Committee. At it’s discretion, the committee may remove lodging properties who are not current with their taxes. Once tax payments are up to date, the committee may allow the lodging business to participate.
- Non-commercial natural attractions, historical sites, and other non-profit organizations may link to the County’s web site if their sites are consistent with the County’s mission of encouraging tourism to Sevier County and compliant with the spirit of these policies (e.g., Great Smoky Mountains National Park, etc.).
2014 Link To Us Policy:
Link Policy – Sevier County Lodging Partners that wish to receive a Free Link from your property listings on the Sevier County Lodging Website will be required to provide a link back to VisitMySmokies.com. As a business partner invested in VisitMySmokies.com it is good practice to provide reciprocal links. Website owners often submit their sites to reciprocal link exchange directories, in order to achieve higher rankings in the search engines. Reciprocal linking between websites is an important part of the search engine optimization process because Google uses link popularity algorithms (defined as the number of links that lead to a particular page and the anchor text of the link) to rank websites for relevancy. Links to your content pages within VisitMySmokies.com from reputable sites with relevant content will improve our search rankings, which in turn will improve booking or visits to your business. In providing a link back to VisitMySmokies.com, we suggest that you link back to your content pages within VisitMySmokies.com. In exchange we will place a free link back to your web site.
If you do not provide a link back to VisitMySmokies.com and you wish to receive a link from your property listings to your website there will be a Link Fee of $500.00. This is an annual fee with contract dates of July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013.
How Do I Link to VisitMySmokies.com?
All you need to do is click on this link and follow the instructions outlined on the page. If you do not have access to update your web site, please have your web person make this happen! It should take no longer than 5 minutes to add our link to your web site. Once VisitMySmokies.com link is on your web site, please email [email protected], with the page that contains our link and within 5 days we will add your web site link on VisitMySmokies.com if we are not already linking to you.
Lodging businesses, who pay the Sevier County Lodging Tax, that have additional locations inside the city limits of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville may only link to a transition page with content representing only Sevier County businesses. Lodging businesses will be allowed to link to their own or other informational sites from this transitional page through a generic text listing which does not name a specific business located inside the city limits of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville or other cities in Sevier County. The only exception to this policy is as follows:
- The name of a nearby city may be used only as a locator device (i.e., near Gatlinburg, Sevierville, etc.
- Lodging businesses who pay the Sevier County Lodging Tax, that have additional DBA’s/Tradenames that pay the Sevier County Lodging Tax, must have a separate office for each DBA they wish to have in the Sevier County Marketing Program. The offices of the additional DBA/Tradename must be open at least five days per week with hours of operation posted. Furthermore, each DBA/Tradename must have a minimum of 5 rental units in their management program in order to take part in the Sevier County Marketing Program. No minimum rental units required for individual owners managing only their own rental properties.
- Lodging businesses or individuals who pay the Sevier County Lodging Tax that have virtual office(s) are eligible to have only one tradename represented in the Sevier County Marketing Program. Each DBA/Tradename using a virtual office must have a minimum of 5 rental units in their management program in order to take part in the Sevier County Marketing Program. No minimum rental units required for individual owners managing only their own rental properties from a virtual office.
- Failure to adhere to these policies may result in termination of the business’s link to the Sevier County Tourism web site for one year.
- In the interest of quality customer relations, businesses on or linked to the Sevier County Tourism Web site are expected to respond, in writing, within 30 days to customer complaints forwarded by the Sevier County Tourism Committee. Businesses that fail to comply with this policy will be removed from the Web site after the third violation. Violations are cumulative. Businesses will be reinstated 30 days after responding to the most recent complaint and upon payment of the applicable reinstatement fee
- All contracts for advertisings, e-commerce and listings will be between Sevier County and local businesses.
- All fees and commissions collected for the Sevier County website will be made payable to Sevier County.
- Businesses failing to pay applicable fees and/or commissions within 30 days will be removed from the site at the discretion of the Sevier County Tourism Committee.
- The Sevier County Tourism Committee reserves the right to approve and/or remove, if necessary, any advertising messages, graphics and links at its discretion.
Sevier County Tourism Website Advertising Policy
The following policies apply to any advertising or sponsorship opportunities offered on, or in conjunction with, the Sevier County Tourism web site:
- Any qualified tourism-related business with a valid Sevier County business license in the county can purchase available advertising opportunities on the Sevier County web site, so long as it is not competitive with the efforts of the Sevier County Tourism Committee.
- Attraction, shopping or dining businesses that generate income from outside the Sevier County limits will not be allowed to purchase advertising for any locations outside the Sevier County limits.
- Sevier County businesses will be allowed to purchase only one opportunity or sponsorship on the Sevier County site; unless sufficient inventory exists after all interested advertisers have purchased space. Remaining inventory will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Businesses with multiple locations will be treated as one individual business.
- Businesses that have additional locations outside the county limits of Sevier County may only link to a transition page with content representing only Sevier County businesses. Businesses will be allowed to link to their own or other informational sites from this transitional page through a generic text listing which does not name a specific business located outside the county limits of Sevier County.
- No pricing of any kind (other than special deals) will be allowed on advertisements on the Sevier County website.
- The Sevier County Tourism Committee reserves the right to approve and/or remove, if necessary, any advertising messages, graphics, or links at its discretion.