Local tourist organizations have been wracked by the COVID-19 pandemic with the closure of hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions and the loss of major conventions, festivals and trade shows.Airports are expecting travel to come back gradually so Louisville Tourism and SoIN Tourism are actively engaging the type of guest it expects to return sooner: the car traveler. Both agencies said they are rolling out strategic marketing campaigns geared toward those who are more likely to drive rather than fly to their upcoming leisure destinations. Louisville Tourism Director of Marketing Michael Fetter said recent industry research indicates that a significant number of people have switched their traveling destinations to ones that are drivable this year, and car travel was up during the recent July Fourth holiday weekend nationwide. It helps that some restaurants, hotels, museums, distilleries and other tourist destinations, such as Kentucky Kingdom, have reopened to give guests more options. Louisville Tourism also is promoting the Wild Lights Asian Lantern Festival at the Louisville Zoo, which continues through late August. Another digital campaign in the pipeline is called “The Old Fashioned Road Trip.”“It’s a play off bourbon and a play off nostalgia,” Fetter said. “As you know, we all took road trips.” Louisville Tourism this week said it has recorded $274 million in lost business through canceled events because of the pandemic, though it has been able to retain about $37 million in postponed business. SoIN Tourism is taking a similar approach by using search engine marketing and social media exposure to attract both local and out-of-state guests to experience Southern Indiana attractions, namely parks and other outdoor recreation outlets.The agency also is looking to attract car traffic from a short distance, courting Louisvillians as well as those in Lexington, Kentucky, Evansville and Indianapolis. Get the full story on how the two regions are trying to attract tourists from Louisville Business First.

Local tourist organizations have been wracked by the COVID-19 pandemic with the closure of hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions and the loss of major conventions, festivals and trade shows.

Airports are expecting travel to come back gradually so Louisville Tourism and SoIN Tourism are actively engaging the type of guest it expects to return sooner: the car traveler. Both agencies said they are rolling out strategic marketing campaigns geared toward those who are more likely to drive rather than fly to their upcoming leisure destinations.

Louisville Tourism Director of Marketing Michael Fetter said recent industry research indicates that a significant number of people have switched their traveling destinations to ones that are drivable this year, and car travel was up during the recent July Fourth holiday weekend nationwide.

It helps that some restaurants, hotels, museums, distilleries and other tourist destinations, such as Kentucky Kingdom, have reopened to give guests more options. Louisville Tourism also is promoting the Wild Lights Asian Lantern Festival at the Louisville Zoo, which continues through late August.

Another digital campaign in the pipeline is called “The Old Fashioned Road Trip.”

“It’s a play off bourbon and a play off nostalgia,” Fetter said. “As you know, we all took road trips.”

Louisville Tourism this week said it has recorded $274 million in lost business through canceled events because of the pandemic, though it has been able to retain about $37 million in postponed business.

SoIN Tourism is taking a similar approach by using search engine marketing and social media exposure to attract both local and out-of-state guests to experience Southern Indiana attractions, namely parks and other outdoor recreation outlets.

The agency also is looking to attract car traffic from a short distance, courting Louisvillians as well as those in Lexington, Kentucky, Evansville and Indianapolis.

Get the full story on how the two regions are trying to attract tourists from Louisville Business First.

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