Even in a sluggish economy, people still put some money aside for travel. Some 400 people who work in tourism-related industries are in Lexington for the annual meeting of the Kentucky Travel Industry Association. Kay Berggren (BER-gren) is the group’s president. “We consider travel one of the things that is our…something that we all work for….so that we can get away….we can take our vacation and we can go visit. That’s one of the first things that will come back when people….when the economy starts to get a little bit better,” said Berggren.
Kay Berggren admits the trend has been toward shorter trips with fewer dollars spent. But, recently, Berggren says there has been an uptick in activity.
“We’re seeing our numbers go up. They are going up slowly. We’re seeing our business sector come back a little bit, but it still is in a slump and we don’t expect to be out of it within a month or two. We know that this is going to be with us,” added Berggren.
What helps in Kentucky, Berggren says, is the Commonwealth’s emphasis on existing historical and cultural attractions.
“We don’t create something for you to come to. We take our heritage and we make it something you want to come and be a part of the experience,” said Berggren.
As two examples, Berggren mentioned the Kentucky Horse Park and Shakertown at Pleasant Hill.
The way into hearts and pocketbooks of ‘potential travelers’ is through the internet. Websites play an increasing role in the promotion of tourist attractions. Berggren adds traditional media still play an important role.
“We’re seeing much more website, very reactive websites that the consumer can book on line and such like that. But, still, no matter what anybody says, print is still a very necessary park of what you do for tourism marketing,” explained Berggren.
Berggren says it may come in the form of brochures or any other print product.