Bowling Green Tourism is hustling and bustling as the agency rounds out one of its most impactful years yet
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (Dec. 20, 2023) – 2023 is proving to be one of the most significant years for Bowling Green Tourism in the agency’s history. With a 21% increase in visitor spending since 2019, surpassing COVID-19 levels, Visit BGKY continues to keep one foot on the gas, especially when it comes to mobilizing and organizing nearly $3,000,000 in allocated American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for various marketing and promotional efforts.
“In 2022, Tourism’s impact on the economy equated to around $500 in tax savings for every Kentucky household,” said Sherry Murphy, executive director for Visit BGKY. “Tourism is one of the most lucrative industries in the state and 2023 remains one of Bowling Green’s busiest and most exciting years for tourism yet. The forecast for the industry continues to look promising for 2024, and we’re excited to continue large-scale projects, like those from ARPA, in the new year.”
The ARPA funds were designated in 2022 by Governor Beshear, the Kentucky General Assembly and the Kentucky Department of Tourism to help the tourism industry recover after the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these funds go to CVB funding for promoting and marketing Bowling Green on its own, with the largest amount being spent on the meetings, conventions, sports, and motorsports event hosting. A portion of these funds also positions Bowling Green in multi-jurisdictional projects, which helps Bowling Green collaborate with other destinations across the Commonwealth. Bowling Green currently participates in the most jurisdictional projects of any city in the state – 16 total projects.
These projects include several trails that aim to bring visitors from one destination to another through road trips and overnight travel. Some examples include Kentucky’s Train Trail, Route 68/80 Wineries Trail, West Kentucky Brewery Hop, Disk Golf Trail, Cave Country Trails and much more. Several of these projects will launch officially in 2024.
With the help of ARPA funds, Visit BGKY also hired travel advertising specialists, Madden Media, to help amplify and market Bowling Green to new and existing visitors. Visit BGKY also received a digital facelift with a new website. Threshold 360, part of the new website, is an additional tool implemented by Visit BGKY in 2023. This new initiative will recruit meetings, conventions and major events to Bowling Green including the capture and integration of virtual tours. Now planners interested in the area or already considering a local facility can easily view the space right within the venue’s listing on the tourism website.
ARPA funding has also contributed to influencer collaborations including projects such as “BG Revealed: A Writer's Exploration” which is a partnership between Visit BGKY and national travel writer Melissa Corbin. Corbin has written for publications such as Garden & Gun, Food & Wine, USA Today among many other regional, daily and lifestyle publications. Corbin will develop social media and blog content for Visit BGKY in 2024 helping to continue elevating the destination's profile.
Other efforts boosted by ARPA funding include the development of two new motorsports events in 2023, both with multi-year contracts. The grants also locked in the return of two additional major events in 2024.
Nominated as a “Best City on the Rise in 2023” and named one of the South’s best cities by Southern Living in 2022, Kentucky’s third-largest city continues to surprise and captivate visitors from across the world. To learn more about Bowling Green and to take a look at the new site visit www.visitbgky.com.
ABOUT THE BOWLING GREEN CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU
The Bowling Green Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization for Bowling Green and Warren County, charged with marketing and selling the city as a leisure, sports and meetings destination. www.visitbgky.com