The New Albany Board of Aldermen has taken a first step in improving the promotion of tourism in the city.
The board has named a seven-person committee to develop a comprehensive, long-term plan for tourism and promoting tourism. The committee is an outgrowth of the tourism advisory board, created years ago, but allowed to languish in recent years.
Named to the committee were Joe Marshall Davis, Betsey Hamilton, Lynn West, Mike Staten, Phil Nanney, Amanda Kent and Mary Jennifer Russell.
We have stressed the importance of creating a comprehensive promotion plan for some time. And with the completion of the Tanglefoot Trail in the next few months, it is doubly important that we present a more unified tourism promotion effort.
That doesn’t mean we haven’t done a good job with creating and promoting some events. The Union County Heritage Museum has built programming and events that are the envy of many other communities. The New Albany Main Street Association has been effective in creating events that bring more people downtown. The Union County Development Association continues to stage a successful RiverFest. And the BNA Bank Park is primed to attract even more events – and tourists – with its expansion.
But overall promotion, not geared to specific groups or events, has fallen by the wayside. It has been sort of the purview of the development association, but with little money to support either it or the Welcome Center that the association is responsible for.
We think a marketing plan for tourism, and the money to support it, is of primary importance if our tourism economy is to thrive. The committee is a good first step.