Georgetown Tourism Reviews 2017, Anticipates Continued Growth for 2018
Destination experienced increased economic impact, plus visitors, awards/accolades, media attention
GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 25, 2018 – Georgetown/Scott County Tourism spent a very busy 2017 bringing visitors to its many attractions and lodgings, raising its profile among social media users and motorcoach operators, hosting travel media, organizing events and in general spreading the word about the city as an enticing destination through speaking engagements, advertising and promotional campaigns, and editorial stories whose publication alone represented a potential circulation/readership of more than 3 million.
“We have a lot to show off here in Scott County, and more and more visitors are finding their way to us and experiencing our lodgings, unique and award-winning attractions, shops and restaurants,” said Lori Saunders, executive director of Georgetown/Scott County Tourism. “In fact, we had a 40 percent increase in visitors at Georgetown/Scott County Tourism information centers from 2016 to 2017.”
“It is important to note that Georgetown/Scott County Tourism contributed nearly $178 million to the local economy in 2016, which represented a 16 percent increase in tourism spending over 2015,” said Lee Carter, chairman of the Georgetown/Scott County Tourism Commission. “With everything going on last year, we expect similarly impressive results for 2017 – and these efforts certainly play a major role.
“Additionally, these results align with our vision to be a leader in the industry in promoting and ensuring the best visitor experience and our mission to promote and support local attractions, activities and events that attract overnight visitors.”
Twelve U.S. and three international travel writers explored Georgetown on independent media tours, resulting in dozens of published articles and blogs. Additionally, Georgetown/Scott County Tourism hosted five Motor Coach Familiarization (FAM) tours, including two international tour operator FAMS.
Georgetown Tourism representatives also attended four motorcoach group travel shows, provided assistance to 27 tour operators in customizing Georgetown experiences, fulfilled 20 speaking engagements and organized 26 events for local and visitor enjoyment alike, including perennial favorites, the Horsey Hundred and Party on the Square; the new and well-received Seed to Feed-A Kentucky Proud Farm to Fork Dinner Series; and Festival of the Horse, a Georgetown original, whose popularity continues to grow each year.
“Our hardworking Georgetown/Scott County Tourism staff also manages Celebrate Georgetown, which promotes our historic downtown and encourages people to not only shop local, but to dine and play local too,” said Georgetown Mayor Tom Prather. “Their efforts have helped to enhance and elevate our downtown’s visibility and profile and to give our downtown merchants a tremendous boost.”
Georgetown reached visitors via targeted advertising, including 1,220 radio spots, 807 television spots and 39 insertions in such high-profile publications as Southern Living, AAA, Edible Louisville, Long Weekends and others, and participated in 10 digital campaigns, including sponsored content with KentuckyTourism.com. A total of 41,700 visitor brochures were distributed via welcome centers, travel shows and events, among other channels. This included brochures requested by mail from potential visitors from the United States and Canada, with the top requests coming from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan.
Additionally, Georgetown/Scott County Tourism’s website had visitors clicking in from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and 86 different countries, for a total of 70,998 page views that represented a 102 percent increase in traffic since the launch of the rebranded website in July 2017. Forty percent of visitors accessed the website through a mobile device. Georgetown’s social media efforts were rewarded with 2,618,905 impressions and a following of 13,422 and growing for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, representing a 40.6 percent increase in total followers.
Georgetown attractions were the recipients of numerous awards and accolades, including “Best In Kentucky” awards for Country Boy Brewing, Whispering Woods Riding Stables, Georgetown Antique Mall and Red State Taps as voted by readers of Kentucky Living magazine. Horse and Hound International, a UK publication, included Old Friends and Kentucky Horse Park on its Kentucky hot-list. Both were also named USA TODAY 10Best Kentucky Attractions in 2017. Georgetown itself was recognized by Southern Living as one of the “South’s Best Girlfriend Getaways” and a “Best Small Town Getaway” and Money magazine named Georgetown the best place to live in Kentucky.
All the awards, acknowledgements, editorial, advertising, presentations and events took place during Georgetown/Scott County’s rebranding effort, which was completed in 2017 and included a new logo, tourism brochure, map and website. “We expect our visitor numbers to continue to increase as we maintain and expand our efforts to reach a wider visitorship and potential visitors continue to learn about Georgetown and what it has to offer,” said Saunders.