Bluegrass Hospitality Association hosts annual tourism luncheon
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 24, 2013) – Declaring that “partnerships among stakeholders in the hospitality and tourism industry are the key to continued success,” Mark Ravenscraft, president of the Bluegrass Hospitality Association, opened the organization’s 2013 Tourism Forum Luncheon – an annual event that brings together over 70 member organizations in the Central Kentucky tourism and hospitality industry.
The featured speaker was Martha DeReamer, president of The Matrix Group, a Lexington-based market research firm. DeReamer presented the findings of a BHA-commissioned research study that examined meeting planners’ reactions to the proposed renovation and relocation of the possible new Lexington Convention Center facilities. A focus group was conducted March 27.
The primary finding of the research was that the current Lexington Convention Center facilities are essentially meeting most of the groups’ needs as it stands, and most desired improvements could potentially be made without a complete relocation of the facility. Moving the facility farther away from hotels and restaurants also was a concern among the meeting planners.
The focus group was part of BHA’s larger mission to ensure that the voices of all stakeholders in the hospitality and tourism industry are heard when major changes in the industry landscape are being debated by policymakers. Speaking to the assembled group, Ravenscraft said BHA is “willing to work with Frankfort and the mayor’s office to ensure that policy changes that affect the hospitality and tourism industry are clear, deliberate and beneficial to the region.”
A 1-percent accommodations tax increase has been proposed for Fayette County and was passed by the 2013 General Assembly, though not signed by Gov. Steve Beshear.
At the tourism luncheon, Ravenscraft urged policymakers to listen to stakeholders on all sides of the accommodations tax issue, and to work together to ensure that the resulting policies are transparent and targeted.
BHA’s mission is to be an advocate for the hospitality industry and support the promotion of travel and tourism in the Bluegrass through cooperative partnerships. For more information, visit www.bluegrasshospitality.org.