Friday, September 12, 2008

Tourism Investments Pay Off: Part II

More great results were reported today regarding our tourism industry, affirming once again the effectiveness of investments we have made over the last couple years to attract more visitors and conventions to our region.

As the Enquirer reports ,, July 2008 hotel occupancy rose to about 66%, up a full 11% from the year before. And January through July occupancy for 2008 was up 7% over the same time last year. This growth defies national occupancy numbers, which, due largely to the bad economy, are actually down 2.5% in the same time period.

As the article makes clear, this success is the direct result of the decision we made to upgrade our convention center to be competitive with peer cities, and the accompanying decision to aggressively market the new center, as well as all the other assets of our region, to both conventioneers, and regular tourists and families from near and far. A couple years ago, we just weren't on the map as a destination, but that's clearly changing.

Strategically, it's hard to overstate the importance of this type of growth for a region. The only way to drive sustained economic growth is to consistently bring in new money and new spending into our area. To get outsiders to visit, and spend, on our products, in our stores and restaurants, in our venues. And that is exactly what these efforts are achieving.

Congratulations to all those working so hard to make this success happen.

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