(Editor’s note: The figures in this story are from February; updated 2018 statistics from the Kentucky Department of Tourism are pending.)
LEXINGTON, Ky. — VisitLEX in February released its results for 2018, which included a new calculation for direct spending impact on rooms and media impressions that exceeded 1.6 billion across the globe. The direct spending impact more accurately assesses the overall value of hosting meetings, convention and events. The move to Courthouse Square in June 2018 also led to large double-digit increases in Visitors Center attendance and sales.
“We continued momentum for 2018 by increasing Lexington’s visibility globally and locally,” said Mary Quinn Ramer, president of VisitLEX. “The result has been a strong impact on the local economy and tax base.”
Here are some highlights from 2018:
- VisitLEX sales leads brought 81,000 hotel room sales to Lexington for a direct spending impact of more than $26 million. (Direct spend is calculated from the participants, meeting planners, and exhibitors based on the length of their meeting and event type.)
- Total hotel room revenue topped $191 million.
- Visitors to the Visitors Center increased 6%. In addition, there was a 22% increase in visitors and a 20% increase in net sales from June through December 2018 vs. the same time in 2017. Those numbers are the result of the move to Courthouse Square.
- Lexington garnered more than 1.6 billion media impressions from top national publications such as The New York Times and Town & Country. National rankings and recognitions published at end of 2018 and beginning of 2019 included:
- Expedia: One of 19 Cities That Must Be Seen In 2019
- Budget Travel: Five Best Southern Foods You Haven’t Tasted Yet
- Luxury Travel Magazine: Top Destinations Across the World for a Nature Immersion Getaway in 2019
- All social media platforms increased their fans and followers. The #sharethelex uses on Instagram again led the way with more than 500,000 uses – an increase of more than 132,000 from 2017.
Visit https://www.visitlex.com/2018/ to check out more statistics or download the infographic.