Kiosks Provide Valuable Link for Travel & Tourism
Travel, traffic and tourism information about the commonwealth is now available at your fingertips inside Kentucky welcome centers and rest areas. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is currently installing innovative new kiosk machines at 16 of the commonwealth's welcome centers and rest areas, with the goal of completing installation into all of Kentucky's 28 sites by the end of the year.
“This approach to connecting with visitors embodies Kentucky’s Unbridled Spirit,” said Gov. Ernie Fletcher. “The kiosk, which resembles an ATM machine, allows travelers to get live radar and other weather information, as well as detailed traffic information. The interactive features also showcase local and statewide tourist attractions.”
Recent traffic counts by the KYTC reveal that an estimated 10 million people visited Kentucky’s eight welcome centers last year alone. The welcome center guest registers recorded more than 750,000 individual visitor signatures during 2005. Based on KYTC traffic counts, more than 17 million people visited a Kentucky rest area last year.
“The real time travel and traffic information enhances highway safety by giving travelers additional information to plan their trip,” said Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert. “We also hope that tourists will use information they discover on the kiosk to visit some of the remarkable attractions found here in Kentucky.”
KYTC welcome centers and rest areas already have a wide array of travel and tourism information on hand. The kiosks, which function everywhere a digital signal from Kentucky Education Television (KET) may be received, are being installed in the highest traffic areas first. The information displayed on the kiosks is updated with KET’s datacast system as part of the overall effort to use the latest technology to connect with visitors.
“Many times, the first contact a person has with a state is at a welcome center,” said Commerce Secretary George Ward. “The kiosks help us make a positive impression with the traveling public. With the kiosks, we can provide vital information that tourists need to plan their trips to a Kentucky destination.”
Representatives from the KYTC and Commerce Cabinet held kiosk events, which were open to the public, at a number of welcome centers during the last week of May. Functional kiosks are on display in the public areas of the KYTC central office.