London City Council creates new tourism commission

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

LONDON, Ky. (WYMT) - A new tourism commission is coming to London.

City Council approved a new ordinance establishing a separate city tourism commission. It will be called the City of London Tourism and Convention Commission.

It surprised the London-Laurel County Tourist Commissioners.

From the Chicken Festival to Redbud Ride and many more events in between the London-Laurel County Tourist Commission has created or supported events to bring tourists to the area for several decades.
Now the London City Council has voted in favor of creating a new, separate city tourism commission. It passed second reading on August 8th.

"We're all shocked. We don't know what's going on. We don't know what their motive is for doing a separate commission," said Tom Handy, President of the London-Laurel County Tourist Commission.

"There was no ill-will. They've done a great job since 1979," said London Mayor Troy Rudder.

The mayor says he and the city council wanted the city to handle events in city limits now.

"When you've got so many events in your town, you want to be in charge of publicizing and directing those events," Mayor Rudder said.

Some officials tell us they worry the two commissions will provide duplicate services.

"It's just a major duplication that could lead to problems without cooperation and we pledge our cooperation," said Handy.

London-Laurel County Tourist Commissioners say they will continue promoting the area and bringing in visitors.

"We're going to keep doing things to develop tourism. Our motive has always been to increase tourism," said Handy.

The mayor hopes to have the city tourism commissioners selected by the fall.

The mayor says the new commission will not interfere with the current funding for the London-Laurel County Tourist Commission. He says the new city tourist commission will work out funding and a budget once it starts meeting.

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