The Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), National Quilt Museum and River Discovery Center represented Paducah at the annual Travel South USA Showcase in St. Louis, Missouri, December 2-5, 2019. Hosted by state tourism offices across the South, the event draws together qualified international tour operators from more than 20 countries with Southern travel suppliers to grow international visitation to the southern United States.

“The international operators we’re meeting with understand that smaller markets like Paducah offer American authenticity,” says Fowler Black, Sales Director at the Paducah CVB. “The win for them in promoting a place like Paducah comes in the form of clients’ recognition of their company as specialists for trips to the United States."

Black, along with local attraction partners, Frank Bennett, National Quilt Museum CEO, and Julie Harris, River Discovery Center Executive Director, participated in appointments with tour operators and travel agents from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

"Travel South is a big opportunity to drive visitation to Paducah as inbound travel from Europe and Asia to the southeast United States continues to grow,” says Frank Bennett, National Quilt Museum CEO. "Participating in events like this puts Paducah's many tourism assets front stage."

Following the Travel South Showcase, Paducah’s close proximity to host city St. Louis generated an opportunity to welcome sixteen Asian tour operators for a post-familiarization tour. The tour allowed for a deeper dive and firsthand experience of the local flavor, world-class attractions and American history that Paducah offers domestic and international travelers.

“The agents we met with at Travel South and subsequently hosted love that Paducah offers unique experiences they won’t find in larger cities,” says Julie Harris, River Discovery Center Executive Director. “This is exactly what they say their clients are longing for."