LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 1, 2012) – More than 550 delegates are headed to Louisville this weekend for the 30th Annual Travel South Showcase, March 4-7, 2012. The three-day conference at the Kentucky International Convention Center brings over 175 tour operators, receptive operators and 40 travel journalists together with over 200 southern destinations, hotels, restaurants, attractions and travel service providers to increase tourism business and growing the region’s market share of the tourist dollars spent.
Kentucky’s tourism industry is big business in the Commonwealth. It is the state’s third largest employer and generates $11.4 billion in economic impact. During the three day conference, Louisville is expecting delegates to deliver $600,000 of direct spend in the downtown hotels, convention center, restaurants and attractions, with anticipated future revenue resulting from tour operators bringing new tourists to the state.
“Travel South Showcase provides us with the perfect opportunity to highlight the many unique experiences in Louisville and across Kentucky,” says Dineene Bradley, Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau VP Tourism Development. “We will also be hosting a large media contingent who will have the opportunity to experience many of our local attractions while in the city and on day trips in the state.”
Delegates will get a sampling of other attractions in Kentucky by visiting an interactive display on the Marketplace floor called, “The Kentucky Experience.” This 10,000 square foot area showcases all nine of Kentucky’s exciting tourism regions. In addition to many artifacts including a Kentucky-made Corvette and native Kentucky fish, delegates will have the opportunity to check out George Clooney’s Hawaiian shirt from his most recent movie, “The Descendants,” and his Aunt Rosemary’s famous “Sister’s” costume from the movie “White Christmas.”
Press Note: Travel South Showcase is a trade only event, not open to the public. However, media is permitted on the show floor to interview and film. The set-up on Saturday between 11 am and 2 pm is good time for visuals and talking to vendors about tourism trends. Another good visual will be delegates moving in and of the attractions on Museum Row on Main Street between 1 pm and 4 pm on Sunday, March 4.
Travel South USA is America’s oldest and largest regional travel promotion organization, formed in 1965 by resolution presented at the Southern Governor’s Conference. The long-standing regional collaboration of the state tourism offices of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia provides a foundation to positively position tourism as a vital and dynamic element in the region’s economic development. Tourism ranks throughout the region as one of the top three industries, behind manufacturing and agriculture, and is responsible for $122.6 billion in spending by visitors, generating 1.37 million direct jobs, $29.7 billion in worker paychecks, and almost $16 billion in state and local taxes. For more information, visit www.TravelSouthUSA.com for consumer information and for travel industry information, www.TravelSouthUSA.org.