Local tourism is increasing in Owensboro, and it’s due in large part to the city hosting both a higher number of events with a higher quality. Between September and November 2018, the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) reported a $25,194 increase in sales for hotel occupancy in comparison to that period of time in 2017.
The first weeks of 2019 also surpassed hotel occupancy expectations for mid-January, according to Destination Management Director Dave Kirk.
“On Thursday, you could not get a hotel in Owensboro, and that also went for part of Friday and Saturday,” Kirk said. “In January, to be able to pretty much sell out — that’s an amazing thing.”
The Kentucky 2A Championships, which were hosted for the first time at the Owensboro Sportscenter this past weekend, played a major role in increasing the number of hotel occupants across the city.
But that’s not where the numbers stop increasing. Compared to last year, Kirk said occupancy numbers from August 2018 onward were up “considerably” compared to the previous year. In fact, October 2018 was the highest October on record for the CVB.
There is more to come for Owensboro’s tourism industry as the American Bus Association (ABA) will arrive for a conference in Louisville from Jan. 25-29, and Kirk says the “huge” convention of tour bus operators has selected Owensboro as one of their cities to visit.
“We’re going to take them to O.Z. Tyler, Moonlite, the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art and the bluegrass concert [Graves Bloodline on Feb. 1] on Friday,” Kirk said.
Mark Calitri, President & CEO of the CVB said there are a lot of aspects to Owensboro that make it a unique and worthwhile place to visit. Calitri and his team started a billboard campaign in 2018 that showcases the authenticity, innovation and uniqueness that piece the city of Owensboro together.
The Owensboro-Daviess County CVB has earned a number of awards in recent months, including the KTIA 2018 Silver Traverse Award for Emerging Leader, the ROMP Campaign award and the Why Tourism Matters award. The CVB also received the 2018 Readers’ Choice Award from ConventionSouth, the national multimedia resource for planning events in the south.
“The statewide and national recognition that we are earning is helping the rest of the world see us as a successful place to work and play. Visitors are looking for something authentic and unique, and Owensboro delivers,” Calitri said.