CVB turning to promotions to help fill hotels

Tournaments and conventions, the two cornerstones of Owensboro’s $220-million tourism economy, are both shut down by the coronavirus pandemic.

So, the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau is concentrating its efforts on bringing Holiday World visitors to town to spend the night and promoting Owensboro as a “staycation” destination for area families.

Local hotels and restaurants have been seeing Holiday World visitors from cities south of Owensboro stopping by for years.

Mark Calitri, CVB president, said the agency’s “Play in Holiday World, Stay in Owensboro” campaign this year attracted interest from people in Tennessee, Indiana, Kentucky, California and Illinois.

“Hotel sales and marketing managers in other cities have even reached out to us after witnessing the success of our Holiday World campaign and commended us on our creative efforts during this difficult time,” he said.

Dave Kirk, the CVB’s destination management director, said, “We’re offering cheaper hotel rates to people who have been to or are going to Holiday World. And we’re working with attractions to create a package for distillery tours or museum visits while they’re here.”

He said, “The traffic we’re getting now isn’t from tournaments or conventions because we can’t do those in Kentucky yet. It’s coming from leisure and some business travel.”

Kirk said, “Families are looking at visiting smaller cities with a lot of amenities where they feel safe to get away for the weekend.”

To read the entire article by the Messenger Inquirer’s Keith Lawrence, click here