Visit Owensboro Wins Prestigious Tourism Awards

The team at the Owensboro Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau earned three Traverse Awards for Excellence in Kentucky marketing at the Annual Kentucky Travel Industry Association’s Gala. The CVB earned silver place for its Burger Week campaign in the COVID-19 Community Support & Engagement category.  Burger Week was responsible for driving sales for local businesses up by an average of 245%.

“Burger Week was an incredible boost for the restaurant industry here in Daviess County,” said Greg Floyd, Ole South BBQ owner and Visit Owensboro board member.

Visit Owensboro took home bronze in the category of marketing campaigns for their “Play in Holiday World, Stay in Owensboro” campaign. The extensive marketing plan involved partnering with the Holiday World marketing team to create a series of videos to visually demonstrate the proximity of the two destinations and why you should choose Owensboro as the place to stay when you visit the theme park.  Targeted digital ads, use of social media platforms, billboards, and media releases were also an integral part of the campaign’s success.

According to KTIA president & CEO Hank Phillips,” This year’s Traverse Awards are especially significant since they were not presented last year because of the cancellation of our conference due to the coronavirus. Therefore, the awards span a pre-pandemic period as well as the period during which the tourism industry was being devastated by the pandemic economic crisis. Whether before or during the pandemic, the entries reflected the enormous creativity and marketing savvy that has propelled tourism to being a premier driver of the Kentucky economy and the source of jobs and enhanced quality of life for Kentucky families.”

The Owensboro Daviess County and Convention Visitors Bureau also took home bronze in the specialty item field with “cards with an impression.” The cards are business cards that don’t look like your ordinary business card. Each team member’s card features that staff member participating in something that Owensboro is known for like the river, bluegrass music and sports.

“We are competing against successful cities including Louisville, Lexington and Northern Kentucky region, all with significantly larger marketing budgets.  There is a lot of buzz and excitement in Owensboro and Daviess County from the newly announced ‘Bluegrass Music Capital of the World,’ Green River Distilling Company’s new brand launch, the new downtown hotel project, new breweries, and our new indoor sports component at the convention center,” said Mark Calitri, Visit Owensboro President & CEO.

“Statewide recognition in these categories prove that the Visit Owensboro team continues to produce high quality marketing content which we know yields an economic benefit to Daviess County and Owensboro by increasing visitors to the area,” said Claude Bacon, Visit Owensboro Chairman.

“Earning these awards demonstrate that we’ve been able to take our organization to the next level. I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve put together and the results our CVB board and staff are creating.  The good news is that the more our local CVB is successful it means Owensboro and Daviess County is successful,” added Calitri.

“It’s an incredible honor to be recognized for your work and it means even more to have effective marketing during a world pandemic,” said Dave Kirk, Visit Owensboro Destination Management.

Kentucky travel and tourism businesses and marketing organizations vie for Traverse Awards in 10 categories. The Traverse Awards are judged by a panel of out-of-state travel and tourism industry experts.  Award criteria include concept, creativity, results, and impact. Over 110 entries were submitted from throughout Kentucky for the competition.

The Kentucky Travel Industry Association represents and serves all segments of Kentucky’s tourism industry, which despite the pandemic’s severe impact, contributed $8.9 billion to Kentucky’s economy in 2020. The 900-member association engages in advocacy and provides its members with education, information, and business development opportunities. The association also works to inform the public of the enormous economic, employment and tax revenue contributions tourism makes to the people of Kentucky.