Danville-Boyle CVB full of ideas for increasing local tourism

Danville-Boyle County Convention and Visitors Bureau’s director is looking at ways to help improve tourism in Danville after attending a conference with the Kentucky Travel Industry Association earlier this month.

“Tourism is the third largest revenue generated for the state of Kentucky,” CVB Director Jennifer Kirchner said. “There is a lot of evidence that what we are doing is on track.”

Data showed that the most travelers come from Ohio, Tennessee and Indiana to Danville, she said.

Kirchner said the number one reason why people come to Kentucky is to visit family and friends. Other draws are shopping and rural sightseeing, she said.

On a national level, she said, “American travel is really quite strong — stronger than other countries.” The cause of the increase in travel is because gas prices are at a reasonable price, so more people are able to afford to travel, she said.

She said that when Americans do travel, it usually involves family travel and kids.

“We know that baby boomers love road trips — getting off the beaten path,” Kirchner said. “And that’s a lot of who we see here in Boyle County. … They’ve heard Danville is a beautiful small town, so they’ll get off the highway and come here,” Kirchner said.

The CVB has a few ideas up their sleeve that they hope will help increase tourism in Danville-Boyle County.

One thing the CVB wants to do is figure out how to communicate with last-minute travelers, Kirchner said.

For people who are last minute travelers, they turn to online review websites Yelp and Trip Advisor for guidance, she said.

Kirchner said one thing that would help this is to encourage people to write reviews whenever they stay, shop or eat somewhere in the area.

She said the CVB also wants to start looking into and how to influence kids to talk to their parents about visiting Danville-Boyle County, Kirchner said.

Another aspect that draws people to Danville-Boyle County is business travel. Kirchner said hotels in Danville are constantly booked with business travelers and the CVB would like to figure out ways to reach out to them so they either extend their stay or come back and visit.

Danville might be able to emulate neighborhoods in Lexington and Louisville that have seen success with tourism because of the community’s culture, shops and restaurants.

“You can go from neighborhood to neighborhood in one city and have a variety of experiences,” Kirchner said. “I think an opportunity to see this in Danville is on Fourth Street … That’s a lofty goal, but it’s something I think that’ll be a part of what we’re talking about.”

Finally, Kirchner said there’s a need for a hotel in downtown Danville.

“There’s a lot of support and a realization that we need a downtown hotel,” she said.

She said Danville is losing money to travelers that stay at Shaker Village and other places because they are destination hotels.