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Kentucky’s Travel and Tourism Industry’s Voice Just Got Stronger

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 9, 2018) – The Kentucky Travel Industry Association (KTIA) announced that the Kentucky Hotel and Lodging Association (KH&LA) has merged into KTIA. This merger follows national trends of trade associations merging to eliminate duplicative efforts, while strengthening existing associations through tahe unification and coordination of actions within the industry. Members of the KH&LA voted to merge their activities into KTIA, where many members were already involved.  The merger includes the establishment of the Hotel & Lodging Council within KTIA to advise staff and the KTIA board on hotel issues.

“We are excited to further strengthen KTIA’s impact in the travel and tourism industries through this merger,” said Hank Phillips, President and CEO of KTIA. “While we have always maintained a healthy number of hoteliers among our membership and leadership, by serving as the singular voice for travel and tourism issues in Kentucky we become a more impactful voice for not only hoteliers but for everyone in the travel and tourism industry. This merger only strengthens and unifies the voice of Kentucky’s third largest revenue-producing industry.”

In addition to greater unity and a stronger and more effective voice for hoteliers and the travel and tourism industry, this merger promises to increase collaboration between hotels and convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), a vital partnership for the success of hotels and the travel industry. KH&LA members will have access to KTIA conferences to network and grow their business opportunities among hundreds of industry professionals, and to KTIA educational resources, which can help members meet their profitability goals.

Ron van Haaren, President of the KH&LA and General Manager of the Hyatt Regency in Lexington, stated that “our members are particularly excited about the increased resources we will have as a result of this merger. KTIA has long been known for its effective programming, networking, and legislative advocacy. This merger extends all of those benefits to KH&LA members and will provide hoteliers with the best trade association resources available.”

KTIA Board Chairman and Executive Director of the Kentucky Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau Randy Newcomb warmly welcomed the members of the KH&LA who will be new to KTIA. “We are confident that the industry, and hoteliers in particular, will be in a stronger position thanks to this merger.”

Logistically, the merger means that KH&LA members automatically become members of KTIA, with all KH&LA assets transferred to KTIA. KTIA will place a heightened emphasis on hotel advocacy, education, and information for members while continuing its exceptional representation of the entire travel and tourism industry.

“Kentucky hotels deserve a strong voice for their issues at the local, state and federal levels and to utilize educational resources that will keep our properties attractive and profitable. I couldn’t be more excited about the potential for hoteliers by this unification and am excited by the path forward for the entire travel and tourism industry,” said Victor Patel, KTIA President-elect and a hotelier for Best Western in Corbin, KY.

The merger is effective as of August 1, 2018. With the merger KTIA now has 830 members from every corner of the state.

About Kentucky Travel Industry Association
The Kentucky Travel Industry Association (KTIA) represents and serves the interests of Kentucky’s travel industry through four service cornerstones: advocacy, education, information and business development. The approximately 422 organizations and 830 individuals from those organizations include attractions, convention & visitor bureaus, hotels, restaurants, state government agencies, universities, media and industry suppliers.

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