As Northern Kentucky’s tourism industry recovers from the worst downturn ever, the realization that travel demand will fully return to 2019 levels is clear.
Embracing forward-thinking and new opportunities, meetNKY has worked over the last year with a national consulting agency, Streetsense, a local advisory committee, the bureau’s Board of Commissioners, and regional partners to create a “Master Plan” focused on keeping travel demand strong and outlining a slate of projects that ensure this destination maintains a growth focus into the year ahead.
With this plan ready for implementation, meetNKY has recently added a new role to focus on implementation and product strategy planning at the city, county, and state level.
Joining the organization as the new Product Development Director is Josh Quinn who brings an
impressive 27-year career in public service. Josh recently completed his term as chair for meetNKY’s Board of Directors. He also co-founded Boone County Distilling Company in 2013, a stop on The B-Line® in NKY and a member of the KY Craft Bourbon Trail.
“We are laser-focused as an organization and an industry on the goal to continue to grow the impact from the visitor industry in NKY,” said President & CEO of meetNKY, Julie Kirkpatrick.
“We are excited to welcome Josh with his strengths in consensus and strategic coalition
building which will serve the industry well as we focus on growth over the next five years.”
meetNKY continues to collaborate with growth partners in the region, the Northern Kentucky Chamber, NKY Tri-ED and others, on initiatives to accelerate the destination as a premier place to live, work, play, learn and give back.
The 2022 Tourism Master Plan outlines recommendations to guide the organization on efforts to improve and support economic growth for NKY through tourism marketing and destination development.
Tourism is a signature industry in Northern Kentucky representing close to $2 billion of spending and close to 14,000 jobs in the three-county metro area. It is also a prime part of the Cincy region.
The master plan reinforces the diverse set of options available to visitors — faith-based destinations, outdoor activities, major league sports, walkable urban environments, the Bourbon Trail and wineries, the Ohio and Licking Rivers and more. And it identifies four key visitor segments that are ripe for growth: well-educated Gen 2/Millennials, Gen Xers, African American cultural visitors and outdoor recreationists. There are opportunities for everyone — families, sports spectators, outdoor enthusiasts, and culture and heritage travelers.
The plan identifies a number of facilities that are attractive to visitors, including the Ark Encounter, Newport Aquarium, Newport on the Levee, Great American Ballpark, Devou Park, Big Bone Lick State Historic Site, Roebling Suspension Bridge, BB Riverboats, Turfway Park — just to name a few.
Add to that, the diverse lodging options and strong food/beverage culture available in the region.
And you have reason to believe that the growth of tourism is definitely in Northern Kentucky’s future.
meetNKY and staff report
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