Cell phone data from Owensboro visitors used to help with tourism promotion

Newscast recording
Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 6:22 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - If you’re visiting Owensboro, you might be getting tracked from your cell phone.

The Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau has signed up with a company called “Arrivalist.”

It tracks travelers coming in to the city to help collect data for marketing.

Destination Manager for Visit Owensboro, Dave Kirk, says this lets them know where they should direct more advertising money based on where visitors are going.

They say it starts tracking when a person uses their cell phone.

Arrivalist only tracks people who come from 50 miles or more away from Owensboro.

Kirk says if you come to the city often, then you are considered commuters, not tourists.

Those who are tracked have to spend at least six hours in the city and the tracking works with geo-fencing.

“So imagine these imaginary fences around our different attractions and hotels in Owensboro,” said Kirk. “Once somebody on their cell phones comes into one of those areas and activates an app, let’s say they check the weather, maybe they go on the 14 News weather app, that way we know they’re in the area. It’s essentially like an imaginary fence. Once your cell phone is in there, coming from outside somewhere else, it targets you.”

Kirk says the reason they are tracking visitors is to know why people are coming to town.

Then they’ll know what events to promote more, which he says benefits the visitor in the end.

“Yeah, the benefits are, I’m going to deliver you ads based off the things that you like,” said Kirk. “So you’re going to be able to see more things that interest you. Let’s say you’re a bourbon connoisseur, you come into Owensboro, you go to the Green River Distilling Company, I’m going to then deliver you ads about bourbon to let you know what else is going on in Owensboro. So, it’s not all bad news for the consumer. It’s just so we can get what we sell to you as fast as possible.”

He says using this new form of technology for marketing helps them compete with larger surrounding cities and hopefully give visitors ads for exactly what they’re looking for.

“We just want to get what we have in Owensboro, because we think we have something special here, into the hands so more people will come,” said Kirk.

Kirk says there is a way to opt out of being tracked.

You can visit Arrivalist’s website under consumer privacy control and fill out the forms asking to not be tracked.

Copyright 2022 WFIE. All rights reserved.