Top travel and conventions in Louisville - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Top travel and conventions in Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Even though Louisville has been named as one of the top places in the United States to visit, it needs to continue to invest in the city.  So says the man who heads up the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Louisville last week was named one of the top travel destinations in the U.S. during 2013 by one of the largest travel guide books in the world, Lonely Planet.

Such a listing is a great help to the organization that works to attract conventions and tourists to Louisville.

"When you have boards of directors voting on that final city to host a convention," explains the CEO of the bureau, James Wood, "and you get national recognition, that just gives you one extra bonus point."

Wood says the investment the city has made in downtown Louisville is paying off.  "With Fourth Street Live, Museum Row along Main Street, new bourbon attractions coming downtown, the growth of the Expo Center, more hotel project to come, I think the city has really emerged," says Wood.

Mayor Greg Fischer agrees.  "From an economic standpoint as those folks come to town to visit," says Mayor Fischer, "they spend their money here, it even helps the city budget and at the same time they may see what a great place it is and think about moving here and maybe even starting a business."

Louisville hosts about sixty conventions a year, but local leaders would like to increase the size of the conventions.

To stay competitive the convention bureau says improvements need to be made to the downtown convention center.  "We do have a study going on right now," says Wood, "to take a look at the existing size of the convention hall, we would like to grow the convention center, we would like to take it from 146,000 square feet to a much larger scale."

It is still not certain where the money to pay for such projects would come from.  However, the short-term outlook remains strong as 56,000 future farmers will soon be coming to town.

Next year the FFA returns to Louisville for its annual convention.

It is scheduled to return nine of the next 15 years.

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