COVINGTON, Ky. (March 21, 2013) — The total impact of visitor spending during 2012 in Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties increased from $298.5 million in 2011 to $325.8 million in 2012, officials reported today at the Northern Kentucky Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Annual Meeting. Hotel occupancy in Northern Kentucky grew by 2.6 percent over 2011.
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Northern Kentucky CVB Board Chair Mike Conway and Board Marketing Chair Dan Fay presented the financial report at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.
Conway, who serves as senior vice president-marketing of Winegardner & Hammons, discussed the impact the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway, the World Choir Games and a successful Cincinnati Reds baseball season had on the area. He also identified several important projects that will enhance visitor appeal in the future, including the Creation Museum’s Ark Encounter, Hotel Covington and the Nth Degree craft distillery in Newport.
Fay, president of Commonwealth Hotels, reported that hotel occupancy was 57.2 percent in 2012, up from 54.6 percent in 2011. For every dollar spent on marketing Northern Kentucky last year, $13.80 was returned to the community, Fay said.
Several guests spoke at the Annual Meeting, including Marcheta Sparrow, Secretary of Kentucky’s Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet; Linda Antus, president and CEO of Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network; and Roger Rickard, an educator, trainer, writer and speaker of issues affecting the meetings industry.
Other 2012 tourism statistics:
♦ Every category of visitor spending increased in 2012. Lodging showing an improvement of $6 million over 2011 and shopping was up nearly $4 million.
♦ Individual corporate travelers remained the largest market segment in Northern Kentucky (40 percent), followed by leisure (38 percent), meetings/conventions (20 percent) and government (2.2 percent).
♦ Group business improved slightly over 2011, as the CVB helped 194 groups find venues within the three-county area. Of that total, 34 groups met in the convention center, up from 28 in 2011.
The CVB recognized several individuals for their contributions:
Star of Tourism awards were presented to Kenton County Judge/Executive Steve Arlinghaus, Boone County Judge/Executive Gary Moore and Campbell County Judge/Executive Steve Pendery for their support of Northern Kentucky tourism.
Ed Hughes, president of Gateway Community & Technical College, received Champion designation for bringing two events to Northern Kentucky. The Kentucky Community & Technical College New Horizons Conference is set for May 19-22 and has an estimated economic impact of more than $360,000. Hughes previously brought the Gateway Community & Technical College TA3 Conference to Northern Kentucky in 2012, which had an economic impact of more than $32,000.
The CVB’s complete 2012 annual report will be posted on its website, www.NorthernKentuckyCVB.com, beginning Friday.