A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

meetNKY starts destination assessment and strategic planning process as recovery continues in the region

As the Northern Kentucky tourism industry continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the destination marketing organization for the three NKY counties, meetNKY, is kicking off a destination assessment and strategic planning process to keep the destination growing as the recovery continues in the region.

A new request for proposal is being issued by meetNKY for a vendor to complete the destination strategic plan with a focus on development and community branding needs in the region.

“Northern Kentucky is still one of the singular metro destinations in the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said meetNKY President & CEO, Julie Kirkpatrick.

“Even as the destination continues to recover from the pandemic and the economic fallout, our organization has taken the opportunity to pivot into a development or ‘what’s next” mindset.”

Tourism is a signature industry in Northern Kentucky representing close to $2 billion of spending and close to 14,000 jobs in the three-county metro area. It is also a prime part of the Cincy Region.

The economic impact numbers are reflective of 2019 spending and the organization is focused on returning the destination to those records and eclipsing the records by 2023.

Julie Kirkpatrick

“We know Northern Kentucky has always had a strong impact from tourism in the region,” said Kirkpatrick. “We have refocused the organization over the last year on not just how we get back to 2019 levels but how we are strategic in continuing the growth trajectory especially as a collaboration with the Northern Kentucky Chamber and Northern Kentucky Tri-Ed. We are building a world-class place to visit, work, live and thrive.”

“We don’t want to just return Northern Kentucky to the strong results of 2019,” said meetNKY Board Chair, Josh Quinn of Boone County Distilling. “We want to set this area up for better and bigger things in the future. We also want to make sure we are being unified in how the NKY experience stands out in the Commonwealth and in the Cincinnati Region.”

The proposal process begins this month with the issuance of the RFP and continues by selecting a best fit firm to accomplish the delivery of a strategic plan for the destination. There will be community and industry-focused listening sessions and surveys to gather resident and business sentiment on the destination along with comparison reviews with aspirational destinations as well.

The final strategic report and destination plan will be released to the public and the industry in Q2 2022.

For additional information on the process or questions, please reach out to hello@meetnky.com.

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