Travel and tourism in Lexington on the rise

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – It’s National Travel and Tourism Week and restaurants and hotels in Lexington say they’re starting to see more visitors.

“We’re looking at 2021 as the year of rebound to rebuild our industry,” Borden said.

Like many others, the travel and hospitality industry hit a stand still during the shutdown.

Vice President of Marketing at VisitLex Gathan Borden says about 225 meetings and conventions were canceled. That lost the city over $100 million in revenue.

“Travel has this trickle down affect people don’t realize and so when people come and stay in hotels that trickles down to getting traction into your bars, your restaurants, transportation. All those areas of the travel industry that people don’t really think about,” Borden said.

Now, events are starting up and businesses are opening, which is drawing people to the area for the spring and summer season.

One project VisitLex is doing to help draw more people in, is providing Lexington post “vaccination” cards for people to invite friends and family to the area.

Innkeeper at the Lyndon House Bed & Breakfast Anton Giovanetto says tourism died and it’s slowly coming back to life.

“The trend is increasing. It’s good. It’s good to have people here,” Giovanetto said.

He says when people stay at the downtown Lexington b&b, the money he makes goes back into the community because it’s important to support local.

“I’ve noticed that most of my guests in April were here just to get out of the house. I have a couple coming for a romantic getaway, I have another couple that coming from point A to C and Lexington is point B, we have folks coming just to experience the area,” Giovanetto said.

He says most visitors come during Keeneland and UK sporting events but some people will also come to see the Bourbon Trail, the Equine Trail and to visit historical sites.

Either way, he says it’s exciting to start seeing people face to face again.

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