FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Department of Tourism, the official agency responsible for promoting the Commonwealth as a travel destination, has launched the first state-wide cooperative program aimed at improving the quality and visibility of all Kentucky destinations within Google’s search and travel planning products.
“We are extremely excited to make Kentucky the first to offer a state-wide cooperative program that will help improve the quality and depth of information about the state as a whole for potential visitors,” Kentucky Department of Tourism Commissioner Kristen Branscum said. “It is crucial that travel destinations have robust business listings and high-quality imagery that captures the beauty and quality of their destination. The state cooperative Google Program will accomplish this goal for our department and our tourism industry.”
The Kentucky Department of Tourism is working with Miles Partnership, a strategic marketing company focused exclusively on travel and tourism, to bring the full value of Google services and products to local convention and visitors’ bureaus (CVBs) and businesses. Kentucky unveiled this program to their industry in the spring of 2018.
The new cooperative program offers participating Kentucky destinations the opportunity to receive a consumer search behavior analysis, baseline audit of the destination within Google products, visual content review, work plan for improvement opportunities and staff training. Participating CVBs will be given the knowledge and tools to facilitate better content experiences within Google’s products, as well as learn to identify and address opportunities to improve the completeness and quality of the destination’s presence to improve consumer perceptions of the destination.
In addition, the Kentucky Department of Tourism and Miles Partnership hosted free Google My Business (GMB) workshops in three cities around the state in June. During these workshops, attendees learned how to have their businesses Google verified and even received verification on the spot. Through verification, local tourism-related entities have the ability to improve how their business is presented within Google. Ultimately, this initiative will enhance the overall quality and depth of information on Kentucky destinations throughout Google’s vast landscape of travel and mapping products, which touch hundreds of millions of consumers every month.
Nate Huff, senior vice president of Miles Partnership, said there is a growing audience across all of Google’s different travel products, particularly in the mobile arena. “On average, we see 10 to 20 times as many people interact with a business’ GMB listing than their actual website,” Huff said, “but many tourism partners aren’t familiar with how to make the most out of those consumer touchpoints within Google.”
It’s a win-win situation for Google and the destination, Huff noted as well. “Google is very committed to improving its travel content and user experience across all its platforms, and it recognizes that destinations have a wealth of quality information and local expertise,” Huff said.
The Kentucky Department of Tourism is the first U.S. destination to launch a specific state-wide cooperative offering, Huff said, adding that this is a benefit for the state as a whole, as well as the individual local destinations and local businesses.
To plan your next Kentucky vacation or getaway, visit kentuckytourism.com.