CVB expecting international tourism soon

British Airways will launch daily flights from London to Nashville starting March 31.

And that’s good news for Owensboro.

“That will be great for us with tour operators since we’re so close to Nashville,” Dave Kirk, destination management director, for the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum is anticipating a lot of international visitors in the future.

Earlier this month, the Kentucky Department of Tourism brought nine members of the European news media — from the Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, England and Ireland — to town to cover the opening of the Hall of Fame.

Together, the reporters represent more than 5 million readers in Europe.

“With the opening of the Hall of Fame and O.Z. Tyler Distillery being on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, we fully anticipate more groups,” Kirk said.

“We are pitching the timing of when to come to Owensboro to a day when a concert is happening at the Bluegrass Hall,” he said. “With all of the European journalists who came for the opening, we feel like the positive PR we will get from their articles will open a lot of opportunities on the leisure side.”

Kirk said, “The feedback we got from them has been really good with one journalist saying if she moved to the United States, she would likely move to Kentucky.”

He said, “We’re hosting another FAM (familiarization) tour with Travel South International in November. We are paring

that with the Marty Stuart concert at the Bluegrass Hall. This group will be comprised of tour operators from around the world and the United States. These operators are the people who book tours in a city for the organization they represent.”

Kirk said, “The Kentucky Department of Tourism has also worked really hard to pitch Owensboro as a destination to the rest of the world.”

The Hall of Fame and O.Z. Tyler are also working together to attract visitors to Owensboro.

The two have partnered to create a special edition bluegrass bourbon, that is now available in the Hall of Fame’s gift shop, Kirk said.

Messenger-Inquirer article written by Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, [email protected]