For the first time since 2007, the Kentucky Travel Industry Annual Conference is taking place in Owensboro and is being hosted by the Owensboro Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) Nov. 13-15.
“It takes Owensboro, and it puts us on the map,” said Dave Kirk, Destination Management director for the CVB. “For us to get in on this rotation–it shows Owensboro is evolving.”
The conference, which focuses on Kentucky tourism, is normally hosted in other cities across Kentucky, so Kirk said this year’s conference is a big deal for Owensboro.
“For them to pick Owensboro is a huge deal for us,” Kirk said.
According to Kirk, both downtown hotels are sold out due to the conference, as well as the Fairfield Inn, located on Frederica St. on the south end of the city.
The CVB has already taken those attending the conference to a couple of barbeque restaurants, where the group was able to learn the ins and outs of making barbeque and, of course, taste many of Owensboro’s noteworthy flavors along the way.
Bringing the conference to our area will also serve as a “huge economic booster” says Kirk.
“All the places they’re going to eat, drink, go shopping–economically, that’s huge as well,” Kirk said.
The group attended local business Puzzle Pieces, where they were able to hang out with the clients and get to know them, even participating in an art project alongside them. Last night, there was the opportunity to “Bowl for Bourbon” at Diamond Lanes South before attending a special reception at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum and experience one of the brand-new centerpieces of Owensboro’s downtown economic development.
Apollo High School graduate, and former University of Kentucky and NBA basketball player Rex Chapman will be speaking at the conference opening breakfast on Wednesday morning.
The conference itself is a major event as Kirk says the event brings in people from all over the country to see what Owensboro has to offer as far as tourism and entertainment.