Some officials don’t understand value of tourism

Published 8:25 pm Friday, September 13, 2019

The KY Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (KACVB) is meeting this week in the wonderful destination of Danville. Our association is comprised of the finest tourism leadership in our state. Four times a year, we meet in different venues around the state to educate, network and improve how we can increase tourism and the economic impact it brings. Our association is always excited about coming to Danville.

It’s ironic in meeting this week, our host, Jennifer Kirchner, who does an outstanding job promoting Danville and our commonwealth, would be subjected to less than professional behavior from public officials in her hometown as she appeared before the Boyle County Fiscal Court. As many of you know, Jennifer was the victim of inappropriate comments as she updated the court on tourism taxes and the work of the Danville/Boyle County CVB.

What’s not ironic but perhaps typical is the level of misunderstanding in some jurisdictions around our state towards tourism and tourism commissions. The apparent disdain for Jennifer’s efforts and her work is not unique; many other public officials don’t seem to understand the value tourism brings in generating visitor expenditures, tax revenues, and creating jobs.

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Let’s be fair: Many of Kentucky’s local and state public officials “get it” about tourism and these leaders are strong supporters and advocates for the work we do. Yet, we know there are those who don’t, and the task comes on us to do a better job educating those officials and the communities they serve of the importance of a vibrant visitor economy.

Jennifer Kirchner, in speaking about her situation, cited “we can do better.” And as far as Danville goes and other destinations around the state, we think she’s right.

Eric Summe

President, Kentucky Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus