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VisitLex launching new regional marketing campaign to bring more tourists to Lexington

Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 5:32 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It’s no secret the tourism industry has taken a major hit because of the pandemic.

“Hundreds of groups right now are canceling their conferences and events,” said Gathan Borden, VisitLEX vice president of marketing.

VisitLEX says without tourism, each Lexington taxpayer would have to pay an additional $1,400 a year to replace that revenue. Borden points out that it’s not just the hotel industry-- the effects are felt throughout the local economy.

“But then that trickles down to all the bars and attractions that see the revenue from people who are coming in for events, for conferences, for meetings,” Borden says.

The new strategy targets Lexingtonians and people in surrounding cities and states, encouraging them to invest in the city.

“You don’t have to stay cooped up in your house the whole time,” Borden said. “You can still get out there because it’s good for the mental psyche.”

But one of the tricky parts about tourism during a pandemic is that they don’t want to encourage people going out and spreading the virus. They can still leave home, but be smart about it.

“It’s a very fine line that we have to walk in doing that,” Borden said.

Borden says they’re focused on promoting small-batch experiences, where groups of just a few people can also practice social distancing. Things like horse farm tours, distillery tours, and hiking trails. He says investing in our local economy is investing in our neighbors.

“Because these are people locally who only businesses and they’re all hurting right now,” Borden said.

VisitLEX is also encouraging people to use the hashtag “Share the Lex” on social media so out-of-town visitors have an idea of some favorite Lexington attractions.

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