Friday, June 19, 2009

Travel Centers tell the story

The gentleman who runs the Kentucky Welcome Center in Florence and is one of the biggest tourism advocates in NKY has some interesting insights into 2009 vacation migration patterns. Jeff Thoke says they are noticing more travelers opting for extended weekend getaways, shorter in duration from what has been seen in the past. Theory is the tight economy is prompting this as well as work demands increasing. For instance, if you work for a company that has laid off people that generally means you are doing the work of two or three people. Jeff says people's length of time away prompts the idea that some are using psychological means to making short vacations seem longer. In the typical situation he encounters people leaving home for vacation on a Thursday or Friday and driving back through on a Monday, creating two shorter work weeks.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Swine Flu Scare Creates Resentment

As if the meetings industry doesn't have enough to worry about.

First it was the economy. Then it was the congressional outcry against incentives meeting brought on by the AIG controversy. The latest crucible facing convention planners is the swine flu outbreak. The World Health Organization declared an H1N1 flu pandemic today-- the first global flu epidemic in 41 years. Nearly 30,000 cases have been reported in the US, Europe, Australia, South American and elsewhere. This will speed up the funding of research into and hopefully production of a vaccine as well as money for containment.

Proper perspective and restraint is required here. The WHO reports 141 people have died from the flu with only 27 perishing domestically (the other 117 were from Mexico). Seasonal flu kills half a million people annually. When is the last time the press reported this disparity. Certainly, precautions should be made to enhance the risk of spreading the deadly virus. Wall Street Journal editorial writer Daniel Henninger says there is great concern in the use of pandemic, particularly as the media uses the term in future reporting (

I attended a convention of convention publicists last month in Kansas City. There was no shortage of hand-wringing over the media glare over this issue. Today's news will not help the situation.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

NKY Development Project Enhances Destination Stamp

I recently heard a presentation on a multi-million dollar development project that should give Northern Kentucky another means of attracting visitors and investors. Manhattan Harbour is planned for Dayton, KY along the Ohio River and covers 143 acres, stretching more than a mile-and a half and will include residential, commercial and retail space as well as a marina with spa and fitness center along with a 160-room hotel, a concert stage, restaurants and shops. Even more tantalizing is the fact that this development will be a showcase of technological advances using "smart" technology to improve the lives of residents and visitors. The project should be completed in the next two to five years. This will be a dynamic venue to show off to tourists and convention guests.