Tourism isn’t city’s strongpoint

Bowling Green is pumping money into its visitors bureau to try to attract more tourism.

If you didn’t either live here or go to school here, would you ever visit BG? If you say anything other than, “No, not in a hundred million years,” I think you’re lying.

What are people going to do? “Hey kids, we’re not going to Disney World this year, we’re spending a week in sunny Bowling Green. “

The kids are like, “Aww man, I don’t want to go to Kentucky.”

“No, no Jimmy, it’s in Ohio.” I’m going to call the travel agent right now.”

A few minutes later, the man calls the travel agent.

“Hi, I’d like to book us for a week in Bowling Green.”

“You want to go to Kentucky?”

“No, the other Bowling Green.”

“Oh, the Bowling Green in Virginia?”

“No, not that one either.”

“Oh, silly me. Of course, you want to go to Bowling Green, Florida, beautiful weather down there.”

“No, Bowling Green, Ohio. And I want to go all out for this trip. The best hotel, the finest restaurants.”

“All right, let me just bring it up here on the Dell. Would you like me to make reservations for you now at Frisch’s?”

“That’s the finest restaurant?”

Travel agent: “Well they also have a Waffle House, open all day for your convenience and you’ll be staying at Day’s Inn.”

“Book it. There’s going to be so much to do there. I wouldn’t miss this trip for the world.”

I’m not trying to slam the city. I enjoy Bowling Green, but who are we fooling? This place isn’t exactly a tourist hot bed and I know that we have an Automobile Museum, and a Construction Equipment Museum, and not to mention the National Tractor Pull. But will those attractions ever draw more than just their small but dedicated fanbase from surrounding states?

I can read the e-mails now, “Aww, you just hate Bowling Green, you think you’re so much better than everyone who lives there.”

I honestly don’t think that, but as I said at the beginning, you wouldn’t visit some town in the middle of Wyoming to see the Electricians Museum, nor would you travel to my home town of Westerville to see the house where Benjamin Hanby lived. Why not? Because you wouldn’t care.

Instead of the city focusing their money and efforts on boosting tourism, Bowling Green could gain so much more if these resources were focused on attracting more businesses into the area.

And I don’t think people are going to care enough to come to a few obscure museums. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m fairly confident that I’m not.

As for my boy Benjamin Hanby, he wrote some of our favorite songs like “Darling Nelly Gray” and “Up on the House Top.” Everyone in Westerville visits the house in like fourth grade, there’s not enough money on earth to ever get anyone to go back ” ever.

Ultimately, my point is that it just doesn’t seem feasible for people to travel to see some small relic of history, or to see a museum that probably isn’t going to interest an entire family to begin with.

And if I’m wrong. Maybe we can start being known for the other STD – Spectacular Tourism Destination.

And if you’re simply tired of having people think when you say you go to Bowling Green that it’s a school in Kentucky, just say, “It’s where Josh Benner goes.” That’ll straighten it out. I’m kind of a big deal. People know me.

Send comments to Josh at [email protected]