At tourism venues, pent up demand released optimism

Published on : Thursday, January 6, 2022

The hospitality industry of Kentucky feels like its leisure travel and convention business clientele is full and all set to return in 2022 if Omicron impacts are behind us. Businesses started growing in early 2020, when the pandemic called off gatherings which were at the core of much hospitality and tourism business. Many people might like working from home, they still want to get out of the house for some recreation, vacation and convention action.

To quote Doug Bennett, Executive Vice President, Louisville Tourism, “Kentucky, particularly Louisville, is well positioned to continue the upward economic trajectory seen in 2021 due to strong market segments in logistics, manufacturing, health care, bourbon and sports. Bourbon tourism and urban bourbon visitor experiences will be in high demand while festivals, concerts and other special events continue to resume, driving additional business into 2022 that we did not see in 2020 or 2021. Group business will see an upswing, consistently growing as in-person meetings come back on the convention calendar. However, 2022 corporate travel (nationally and locally) is still not expected to be seen at the road-warrior levels they generated in 2019, though the meetings industry is cautiously optimistic for the return of corporate travel in 2023. As a destination marketing organization, we will be carefully and cautiously looking at our spending and staffing levels in 2022, with destination promotion dollars increasing and the full-time employee count remaining fairly similar to 2021 levels.”

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