The hospitality industry was one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, as business and leisure travel screeched to a halt, and local businesses and attractions were forced to shut their doors temporarily. As a result, more than 108 groups have canceled booked business with an estimated $137 million in economic impact lost for Louisville, and Kentucky lost more than 82,000 jobs in its leisure and hospitality sector in the span of a month. While business travel will likely to remain down in the coming months, leisure travel is expected to pick up again as restrictions lift.
Louisville is positioned well to capture leisure travelers as the city is one-days drive from 60 percent of the population. Louisville also recently was ranked one of the top destinations for the leisure business because of our great food scene, bourbonism, and new hotel products.
This focus area team will consider:
- How will hospitality can adjust its business models to fit the "new normal"?
- What short-term strategies can be employed over the next 18 months to generate activity for the hospitality industry?
- How can virtual marketing best be used to attract visitors and events?
- How to adapt existing long-term marketing plans?
The work will be built on the foundation already established in existing plans, including Louisville Tourism's Destination Marketing Plan.
Metrics may include national hotel occupancy and average daily rate data from Smith Travel Research; Louisville Tourism Convention calendar of events; conference and conventions; and data on inbound and outbound travel from the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport.