Kentucky tourism officials talk about Memorial Day travel

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Memorial Day Weekend is seen as the kick-off of the summer travel season.

Paintsville Lake State Park // Allen Bolling

What impact will the coronavirus have on the summer travel season? Kentucky tourism officials believe people may choose to travel but stay closer to home and visit in-state attractions.

It will be a much different summer for just about everyone this year.

"Folks are not going to want to travel very far...for very long," said Hank Phillips with Kentucky Travel Industry Associaton.

Kentucky's travel ban is no longer in effect and more businesses and attractions are opening up or will reopen in the weeks ahead.

"We hear from some of our hotels that they are seeing a slight uptick, in some cases," said Phillips.

Some people with previous plans to travel out of Kentucky are choosing to instead vacation in-state.

"It begins with outdoors, state parks and other locations and venues," said Phillips.

Phillips believes people are going to go out, but they aren't going to do it real fast. It will be a gradual process.

Phillips goes back to how it was after 9/11 when travel resumed.

"Health, safety, feeling confident you can travel safely is going to be very important," said Phillips.

He says the Kentucky travel industry is a long way from rebounding, but he says the re-openings have at least started that.

"There's a little pep in the industry's step right now. Getting going again," said Phillips.

Tourism officials say they are still hopeful for some assistance in the CARE funding for local convention and visitor bureaus to further jump-start the local tourism industry.