Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Annual Numbers for NKY CVB Take Slight Dip


Pat Frew, Director of Communications
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Covington, KY/March 18, 2009—Officials with the Northern Kentucky Convention & Visitors Bureau have laid out a strategy to overcome the effects of a dismal economy, while issuing the Bureau’s Annual Report showing a rare drop in the organizations’ economic impact to the community.

At today’s 2008 Annual Meeting at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, the Bureau reported an economic impact of visitor’s spending of $306 million in Kenton, Campbell and Boone Counties, down six percent from 2007’s record figure of $325 million. The $306 million impact figure of 2008 compares favorably to 2006’s results of $263 million.

Bureau President and CEO Tom Caradonio says higher fuel costs, cutbacks of corporate travel combined with Delta’s 23 percent cut in flights were the major factors that lead to the decrease. These conditions coupled with a difficult economy, he adds, are not harbingers for a quick rebound in 2009.

“With our Back To The Basics theme for 2009, we are focusing on selling to group markets that offer better meeting potential, such as the sports market, with the Bank of Kentucky Center at N.K.U. fully operational, and religious groups. In addition we have implemented innovations that make the work of our target market—meeting planners—simpler, thereby making us a more attractive destination.”

Caradonio outlined such innovations as mobile marketing technology available through the Bureau that allows planners to communicate information about a conference to attendees cell phones. Single contracts for groups using multiple hotels is another new amenity being provided as well as audio on-line proposals from the Bureau’s sales force.

“All of these changes ensure faster and more meaningful information being given to our clients, helping them to save time and money, two of their most valued commodities,” added Caradonio.

Other statistics released by the Bureau at the meeting included:
The total economic impact to the community as a result of 2006 Bureau initiatives dipped barely at $44.1 million versus $44.2 million in 2007;
The return on investment in Bureau 2007 marketing programs was down slightly, $10.49 compared to $10.90 the prior year. This figures represents how much money is returned to the community in the form of visitor spending per every dollar spent on Bureau marketing efforts;
Corporate travelers remain the largest market segment in Northern Kentucky comprising 41 percent, trailed by Leisure, 35 percent, Meetings/Conventions, 22 percent and Government, 2 ½ percent.

The Bureau also bestowed three awards to the following individuals:
Marie Fuehner, former Bureau Director of Convention Services, who retired at the end of the year, received the Bureau’s Star Award for her work in making Northern Kentucky a vibrant convention destination. Last year, four national meeting planner trade publications recognized Fuehner’s department for its outstanding work.
Greg Buckler was named to the Bureau’s Champions program for helping to lure the Kentucky Jailers Association conference here this coming June creating an economic impact of $316,000.
Darren Wallace of the Hampton Riverfront hotel in Covington was named the Bureau Hero of the Year. The five-year old program has honored more than 40 front-line hospitality workers for their efforts in going above and beyond the call of service to guests.

The mission of the Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau is that of an aggressive sales, marketing, service and informational organization whose primary responsibility is to positively impact the Northern Kentucky economy through conventions, meetings and visitor expenditures. The direct economic impact of visitors’ spending in Campbell, Kenton and Boone Counties in 2008 was $306 million.
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