Local tourism agency sees budget axe fall, reconsiders strategy - WPSD Local 6: Your news, weather, and sports authority

Local tourism agency sees budget axe fall, reconsiders strategy

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The lakes region is a huge tourism draw.  But, Kentucky's Western Waterland Board President John Rufli said it's becoming harder to promote this area because his budget is tighter than ever.

"In the end, the general assembly, in cooperation with the governor's office, saw fit to direct those monies elsewhere," said Rufli.

A bulk of Rufli's budget came from a 1% lodging tax used to promote tourism.  This spring, state lawmakers redirected that money away from the department of tourism, leaving Rufli without $100,000 in matching funds he depended on to promote the purchase area.

"Probably the biggest issue for us is this came rather suddenly. We didn't have a lot of warning that this was going to happen," Rufli said.

To make up for the lost revenue, KWW laid off its executive director and won't publish this regional visitor's guide which Rufli said was labor intensive.

"The guidebook itself is a big production. It consumes a lot of staff time to put together," he said.

"We have been in that book for years," Jimila Fulks said.  She worked with KWW to promote her Gilbertsville putt-putt golf business.  Without that promotion, she says she'll turn to Facebook and Twitter.  "I probably will do my social media.  I'll do my own online," she said.

Rufli said KWW will likely do the same.  It's cheaper and people can access it on the go.  "One that has more linkage with our members, can deliver more traffic through our site to their sites," Rufli said.

You can visit the Kentucky Western Waterland website by clicking here.
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