The Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced it is seeking proposals to refresh branding assets for its world-famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail tourism attraction and develop a digital platform for the exceedingly successful Passport program.

The KDA created the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour in 1999 to welcome visitors with a behind-the-scenes look at the world’s most iconic Bourbon brands. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour was born in 2012 to showcase the burgeoning craft distilling movement.

Mandy Ryan, the KDA’s Director of Kentucky Bourbon Trail Experiences, said the last branding project happened in 2009 when only a handful of distilleries participated. “It’s been incredible to witness how much the tour has grown and evolved in the last 13 years,” she said.

“As we near the KBT’s 25th anniversary in 2024, we need a refreshed look, feel and voice reflecting today’s Kentucky Bourbon culture and the affluent and diverse visitors making their way to the birthplace of Bourbon.”

Additionally, the KDA is looking to develop a digital Passport program to meet modern visitors’ needs. The KDA created the Passport program in 2007 to encourage guests to explore multiple distilleries, with a free T-shirt as a reward for visiting them.

Currently, visitors can purchase a physical Bourbon Trail Passport & Field Guide book containing information about KBT® and Craft Tour distillery attractions. Passport holders can “unlock” items and experiences that only they can purchase or enjoy.

“In 2007, smartphones had just come out so there wasn’t much need for digital assets. But with 42 distilleries to tour next year, people rely on digital platforms to plan their trip and navigate the Commonwealth’s scenic backroads.”

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour are among the region’s most popular tourist attractions, with total attendance reaching nearly 2 million visits each year. Guests come from all 50 states and around the world.

The KBT has advanced Kentucky’s hospitality industry through Bourbon-themed restaurants, hotels, tour companies and more. And the KDA has led the way in modernizing Kentucky’s archaic alcohol laws to help distilleries reach a Napa Valley level of amenities and attraction.

Questions about the RFP are due by Dec. 9, 2022, and will be compiled and disseminated by Dec. 15. Proposals are due on Jan. 10, 2023. The KDA anticipates making a final decision by Feb. 3.

Questions and proposals must be submitted via email to [email protected].

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