Officials Hope Ryder Cup Promotes Understanding, Spurs Tourism

by Gabe Bullard on September 15, 2008

With thousands of foreign visitors in town this week for the Ryder Cup, the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau is hoping to avoid cultural misunderstandings.

About eight thousand international visitors are expected in Louisville for the golf competition. Bureau President Jim Wood says most of the guests are European and probably have visited the U.S. before.

“The foreign visitors all are English speaking so there shouldn’t be any worries with the foreign visitors coming in,” he says. “You’re talking about England, Ireland, Scotland all coming in to Louisville.”

The bureau has held meetings for hospitality professionals to prepare them for the influx of different cultures. Wood says most of the foreign visitors will come from Europe, but he expects to see other parts of the world represented as well.

While the jump in tourism is expected to generate dollars and Euros for Louisville, local officials are also hoping for positive reviews from the press.

Wood says more than one thousand media outlets will cover the competition between the best golfers from the U.S. and Europe, and the visiting journalists could help spur tourism after the golfers go home.

“In our case we hope that the travel writers, well the sports writers, that are in town will put a positive spin that they had a great experience here with Kentucky bourbon, with Kentucky food, with Kentucky hospitality, with what Louisville has to offer in general,” says Wood.

The Ryder cup will be held at Valhalla Golf Club.

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