By Caleigh Byrer
WARSAW — The Kosciusko County Convention, Recreation and Visitors Commission approved three new advertising grants and heard a travel update from the Convention and Visitors Bureau at a Wednesday, Jan. 18, meeting.
CVB Executive Director Cori Humes discussed the prospects of travel for the upcoming year and shared some of the CVB’s plans for tracking it.
Humes stated that travel trends show “revenge travel” may continue through 2023, but travelers may be discouraged by the fluctuation of gas and food prices.
The term revenge travel arose when COVID-19 restrictions were lifted and the nation saw a spike in the number of individuals traveling, as if they were getting back at the pandemic by moving on with their lives.
Humes said on a national scale, 80% of people are excited by the prospect of traveling in 2023 and 79% have already begun planning a trip.
There is a $3,300 average per leisure trip based on those who are actively planning trips. “This is nationwide, but we’re hoping that comes our way and we’ll have another great year in 2023,” Humes said. “We at the CVB feel we’re in a great position to continue to bring in those visitors and leisure travelers.”
The CVB plans to conduct economic impact research on their 2022 data and estimates a large jump in numbers as a study has not been done since 2019.
“We are signing off on our visitor guide today,” Humes said, “I will note our 2022 digital guide has done phenomenal; we had about 67,000 views on the digital platform and we do create 50,000 visitor guides, there’s only about 1,800 left.”
They will continue using the sports and events calculator to measure the economic impact of local programs and events moving forward and plan to keep making improvements in digital marketing.
Three grant requests, presented by Mark Knecht, were approved:
- Grant to run an advertisement in Visit Indiana for Chautauqua-Wawasee
- Grant to run an advertisement in an annual Hamilton County publication and online business publication for The Oakwood Foundation
- Grant to run an advertisements in South Bend and Fort Wayne publications to target Ball State alumni
The collective total of these grants is $1,500 and they will be used to generate publicity for Kosciusko County.
An $80,000 tourism sponsorship grant for the City-County Athletic Complex was also approved. CCAC Executive Director Mike Haggy stated the grant would allow the facility to comfortably maintain operations and make any necessary improvements.
KCCRVC expressed excitement about the potential traffic that may be coming through the county this year according to the CVB’s analysis and as a result of strategic advertisement.