Guest blog by Mary Quinn Ramer, VisitLEX
Lexington tourism is on a roll. We continue the multi-year trend of outperforming the year before, and strategic efforts with local, regional and state partners further strengthen those successes. The proof is in our increased occupancy rates, national media attention and social media followers.
By choosing our community in increasing numbers, visitors are validating that the Lexington experience is outstanding. Our hospitality partners continue to provide unique, quality offerings that benefit both travelers and residents alike.
Top travel, leisure and lifestyle magazines are singing Lexington’s praises, which should help us continue to yield big dividends. You can’t put a price on that kind of publicity.
Here are some highlights from 2017:
- Total hotel room revenue topped $190 million.
- Zagat named Lexington one of the 30 most exciting food cities in America.
- Vogue recommended Lexington as one of nine U.S. destinations to visit in 2018.
- TripAdvisor designated Lexington as a Top Destination on the Rise.
- Overall, Lexington garnered more than 1 billion media impressions. The community was featured in national publications such as Condé Nast Traveler, Men’s Journal, USA Today, Forbes, Southern Living and Architectural Digest. Much of this national earned media was the result of VisitLEX serving as host to more than 80 travel writers from across the country.
- The Visitors Center introduced new merchandise, which resulted in a 37-percent increase in net sales, and it welcomed more than 24,000 visitors.
- All social media platforms saw an increase and yielded more than 489,000 post engagements and 2.9 million video views. The use of #SharetheLEX content tags on Instagram saw the largest increase with an additional 145,000 tags for a grand total of 370,000 #SharetheLEX uses throughout 2017.
Mary Quinn Ramer is president of VisitLEX, Lexington’s convention and visitors bureau.