Ark Encounter Wins Prestigious Tourism Award

on November 30, 2021
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The Ark Encounter themed attraction has earned a Traverse Award for Excellence in Tourism Marketing from the Kentucky Travel Industry Association. The award was presented during the 2021 KTIA Conference earlier this month at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Louisville. The Ark Encounter, one of the most-visited attractions in Kentucky, earned a “2021 Traverse Silver Award” for its 2020-2021 marketing campaign.

The Ark Encounter, built and operated by Answers in Genesis, is a one-of-a-kind historical themed attraction with a massive Noah’s Ark as its centerpiece. Constructed according to the dimensions given in Genesis 6, the Ark is 510 feet long, making it the largest freestanding, timber-frame structure in the world. The Ark Encounter is in Williamstown, Kentucky.

Kentucky travel and tourism businesses and marketing organizations vie for Traverse Awards in 10 categories. The Traverse Awards are judged by a panel of out-of-state travel and tourism industry experts. Award criteria include concept, creativity, results and impact. Over 110 entries were submitted from throughout Kentucky for the competition.

Ken Ham: “Coming out of the pandemic, I’m pleased to report that we’ve had some record-breaking days at the Ark, showing that our giraffe marketing campaign is working.”

Ken Ham, founder and CEO of AiG and the Ark Encounter, declared: “This prestigious award from KTIA acknowledges our very creative ad campaign featuring an animated giraffe family coming to the Ark. The commercials have been shown on various national TV networks and used in other marketing efforts to attract visitors from all around the country. Coming out of the pandemic, I’m pleased to report that we’ve had some record-breaking days at the Ark, showing that our giraffe marketing campaign is working.”

Ham added: “I want to acknowledge the wonderful creativity of our ad agency, JDA Worldwide, in coming alongside us to make this a successful nationwide campaign.” One of the giraffe TV commercials can be watched here:

According to KTIA president & CEO Hank Phillips, “This year’s Traverse Awards are especially significant since they were not presented last year because of the cancellation of our conference due to the coronavirus. Therefore, the awards span a pre-pandemic period as well as the period during which the tourism industry was being devastated by the pandemic economic crisis.”

Hank Phillips: “Whether before or during the pandemic, the entries reflected the enormous creativity and marketing savvy that has propelled tourism to being a premier driver of the Kentucky economy . . .”

Phillips added: “Whether before or during the pandemic, the entries reflected the enormous creativity and marketing savvy that has propelled tourism to being a premier driver of the Kentucky economy and the source of jobs and enhanced quality of life for Kentucky families.”

In related news, KTIA announced this month that Eddie Lutz, Sales Director of the Ark Encounter, was elected to KTIA’s board of directors. An “at-large” board member, Lutz will serve a three-year term.

The Kentucky Travel Industry Association represents and serves all segments of Kentucky’s tourism industry, which despite the pandemic’s severe impact, contributed $8.9 billion to Kentucky’s economy in 2020. The 900-member association engages in advocacy and provides its members with education, information and business development opportunities. The association also works to inform the public of the enormous economic, employment and tax revenue contributions tourism makes to the people of Kentucky.

ChristmasTime at the Ark Encounter

On select dates through December 30, the Ark Encounter will once again host its free spectacular Christmas programs (with Christmas activities and lights also happening at the Ark’s sister attraction, the Creation Museum in Petersburg). Along with tens of thousands of dazzling lights, the Ark’s large Answers Center will provide a warm place for guests to enjoy the stunning “Encounter the Wonder” animated show on an enormous 70-foot LED screen, special concerts and programs, along with Christmas carol sing-a-longs and live animal encounters — all free. As explained on the Ark website, most of the holiday activities are free.


Editor’s note: This article was adapted from a news release that was recently distributed to the media.

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