At the Kentucky Travel Industry Association (KTIA) opening breakfast Wednesday morning, Dave Kirk, who is in charge of destination management for the Owensboro Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), was presented with the 2018 KTIA Emerging Leader award.
When Tourism Director and 2108 KTIA Chairperson, Randy Newcomb, presented Kirk with the award, he acknowledged Kirk’s role as the primary planner for the voluntourism events that the group was able to participate in this week, including a visit to Puzzle Pieces and a BBQ tour.
“It sounds like Dave has already moved past the emerging part of this award,” Newcomb said. “He has committed to furthering his industry knowledge and pursuing the certified destination management executive certificate.”
Newcomb also made note of Kirk having been recognized by the Owensboro Chamber of Commerce as one of the 40 under 40, as well as his role as chair for the Chamber of Young Professionals.
“As a person new to the travel industry,” Kirk said, “I think they recognized that I have made significant contributions to the travel industry, as well as KTIA.”
Kirk has only been with the CVB since January, yet, in that short period of time, CVB web traffic has gone up 62 percent. Kirk said hotel occupancy has also seen an increase over the last three months.
“This is recognition that we are doing really great things in Owensboro,” Kirk said, adding that he was happy “to be part of a really great team that allows me to be creative and helps Owensboro to grow.”
Kirk said he was honored and humbled to be selected out of all the CVB’s in the state in a year when his hometown of Owensboro was hosting the annual conference.