12:48pm

Wed March 28, 2012
Business and the Economy

Final Four Tourism Push

Kentucky tourism hopes to cash-in on the Final Four matchup between the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville.   State officials hope it attracts more visitors to the Bluegrass State. Tourism officials hope Kentucky’s prominent place in college basketball’s Final Four will attract more out-of-state visitors. Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism Deputy Commissioner, Hank Phillips sees Saturday’s contest between the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville as a marketing opportunity

“We’re using this to get people’s attention and to build their awareness of Kentucky and the bottom line is we want that to translate into more visitors,” said Phillips.

Given the high cost of airing television commercials during the tournament, Phillips says Kentucky cannot afford to advertise during the game’s international broadcast.

“That’s fairly cost prohibitive but we have looked into it and most of the availability for doing that is gone…already,” added Phillips.

Phillips says it’s hard to predict the number of tourism dollars that will result from the Final Four frenzy.  During normal times, Kentucky’s tourism industry contributes eleven billion dollars to the economy.