Louisville wants millennial tourists

Louisville is targeting millenial influencers to boost tourism, and relying on the attraction...
Louisville is targeting millenial influencers to boost tourism, and relying on the attraction of music festivals. (Source: Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau)
Updated: Jun. 14, 2018 at 11:37 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - You probably feel like you're being inundated right now.

Messages are flooding the airwaves and the internet from other cities and states wanting you to come spend your vacation and spend your money.

Louisville is concentrating on leveraging local music festivals and a digital strategy targeting people known as influencers.

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"We invite them to town much like a traditional travel journalist, give them tickets to an event, have them photograph the event and have them do social media posts while they're in town," Stacey Yates, VP Marketing Communications for the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, said. "You'd be amazed at how much influence they truly have on getting other people to do what they want to do."

An influencer could be an a-list blogger like millennial and New York foodie Alexa Mehraban. She told her 300,000 Instagram followers she loved her visit to Louisville.

"It was really such an amazing experience and I felt like I really learned so much more than I thought I would going into it," Mehraban said.

The Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau targets primarily millennials in 10 feeder cities. The list includes Indianapolis, Chicago, Cincinnati, Nashville, Columbus, New York City, St. Louis, Atlanta, Washington, DC and Philadelphia.

Music festival crowds attending Forecastle, Bourbon and Beyond and Louder Than Life also create an opportunity.

"They get a taste of the city then they want to plan a second or a third trip, coming back to Louisville to make it a weekend package," Yates said.

Up to 70 percent of music festival attendees are from outside Louisville.

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"We're bringing in dollars from all around the country and with Bourbon and Beyond -- even internationally," said Doris Simms, VP of Strategic Partnerships. "So it's a very worthwhile piece of business."

The goal is to make sure they have a good time and come back for more.

Ticket sales for Bourbon and Beyond and Louder than Life are, so far, double what they were they were in 2017.

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