Kentucky tourism leaders talk about Memorial Day weekend, summer travel
It’s the start of the summer travel season, but this summer will be significantly different for many when it comes to taking vacations.
Kentucky’s travel ban ended today and that means people will be able to visit places, but state tourism officials say many Kentuckians will likely stay closer to home this summer.
Memorial Day weekend is seen as the kickoff to the summer travel season, but with fewer people flying, visiting the beach, going on cruises, or traveling far, the belief is that many will stay in Kentucky.
Tourism officials say outdoor attractions will be huge this summer, and the emphasis will be on where people can go and have fun, but do it with safety in mind. That safety will be a priority for a lot of people.
“We think people are going to be fairly conservative in their travel planning, and that conservatism means sticking closer to home," says Hank Phillips, with Kentucky Tourism Industry Associates. "On behalf of the Kentucky travel industry, that’s okay with us.”
Phillips says hotels and other tourism-related businesses are still hurting and it may not return to normal for a long time. He does say, however, there is more optimism now than there was two months ago. He says the industry officials have a little more "pep in their step."
Phillips says whereas other states may have opened their economies a bit faster, he says Kentucky is in a strong position due to the state’s emphasis on safety.