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‘Come Find Bourbon’ partnership between meetNKY, Bardstown, and Frankfort wins marketing gold medal

A collaboration between meetNKY, Bardstown Tourism and Frankfort Tourism has won a Gold Medal for a Marketing Campaign for their collaboration, “Come Find Bourbon.” The award was presented during the 2021 Kentucky Travel Industry Annual Conference held recently at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Louisville.

Come Find Bourbon is a partnership between the three organizations. Three separate destinations that have traditionally competed for the same visitors came together in the spirit of collaboration with united goals.

All three areas leverage their assets to present an authentic bourbon road trip that can be completed by visitors in three-night or longer stays.

The partnership solves different issues for each destination:

• Northern Kentucky leverages the millions of visitors that come to the region each year, encouraging them to drive deeper into the state while helping build its own reputation as a bourbon destination.

• Frankfort leverages its rich bourbon history and expanding bourbon experiences while encouraging visitors who may previously have stopped only at Buffalo Trace Distillery to expand their exploration of the capital city and state.

• Bardstown leverages its assets to solidify its ‘Bourbon Comes From Bardstown’ message while encouraging visitors to explore more of the city beyond distilleries plus more of Kentucky.

“Come Find Bourbon” presents all three destinations as equally valuable to bourbon tourists with complementary bourbon experiences and balanced attributes. “Come Find Bourbon” leverages two pillars of the Kentucky Tourism message: bourbon and culinary.

The collaboration website presents three destinations equitably, pointing out their diversity of bourbon-related assets (including but not limited to distilleries) alongside other points of interest. News posts present enticing travel ideas, itineraries simplify travel planning, and a media kit fuels journalists’ coverage. YouTube videos, electronic billboards in the CVG airport, a dedicated Facebook page, press releases, and digital marketing/advertising support brand building.

“We are honored to be recognized for this unique partnership,” said Julie Kirkpatrick, President & CEO of meetNKY. “Besides the incredible marketing results of ‘Come Find Bourbon’ like the more than 10 million media impressions generated as a result of the plan, the real win for us is the partnership with Bardstown and Frankfort Tourism and our dedication to leveraging our assets together to grow our destinations.”

Kentucky travel and tourism businesses and marketing organizations vie for Traverse Awards in 10 categories. The Traverse Awards are judged by a panel of out-of-state travel and tourism industry experts. Award criteria include concept, creativity, results, and impact. Over 110 entries were submitted from throughout Kentucky for the competition.

According to KTIA President & CEO Hank Phillips, “This year’s Traverse Awards are especially significant since they were not presented last year because of the cancellation of our conference due to the coronavirus. Therefore, the awards span a pre-pandemic period as well as the period during which the tourism industry was being devastated by the pandemic economic crisis. Whether before or during the pandemic, the entries reflected the enormous creativity and marketing savvy that has propelled tourism to being a premier driver of the Kentucky economy and the source of jobs and enhanced quality of life for Kentucky families.”

The Kentucky Travel Industry Association represents and serves all segments of Kentucky’s tourism industry, which despite the pandemic’s severe impact, contributed $8.9 billion to Kentucky’s economy in 2020. The 900-member association engages in advocacy and provides its members with education, information, and business development opportunities. The association also works to inform the public of the enormous economic, employment, and tax revenue contributions tourism makes to the people of Kentucky.

meetNKY drives quality of life and economic growth for Northern Kentucky through tourism marketing and destination development. Learn more at www.meetNKY.com.

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