The Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau announced today its 2000 Shining Star of Tourism award winners during its Annual Meeting at Northern Kentucky Convention Center.

Said Nick Ellison, Chairman of the Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Commissioners, "It is a pleasure to recognize two extremely important entities in our success in 2000, the newest member of our attraction line-up and a most venerable attraction in Greater Cincinnati - The Kentucky Speedway and the Cincinnati Museum Center." Ellison noted that the Shining Star was given to these two organizations for being the "largest generators of 'filler' room nights for the leisure market" in 2000.

During his presentation Tom Caradonio, President of the Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau said, "Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky are so blessed to have these two attractions to draw visitors from across the country. We have worked very hard to establish relationships with them, and look forward to more success in the years to come."

Kentucky Speedway and the Cincinnati Museum Center have both been acknowledged for their outstanding contribution to Northern Kentucky tourism. The speedway has been recognized for boosting hotel room nights in Boone County, while the Museum Center has been recognized for working with Northern Kentucky hotels forming the Titanic package.

The Shining Star Award began in 2000 and is given in recognition by the Convention and Visitor Bureau, for those who have the greatest impact on Northern Kentucky's hospitality and tourism goals.

Economic Development Through the Hospitality Industry

Over $243 million in indirect spending was generated to the Northern Kentucky economy in 2000 through visitors in our area. The direct economic impact on the community by marketing initiatives of the Convention & Visitors Bureau was $72 million. Tourism was the Commonwealth's third leading industry, and its second largest employer after healthcare.