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Louisville Tourism Launches Welcome Center at Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport

April 5, 2024

Click here for an image gallery of the opening event held on Friday, April 5, 2024.

Visitor growth prompts tourism resource at SDF

With the increasing visitor growth Louisville’s tourism economy is experiencing, greeting guests where many begin their journey to Bourbon City is Louisville Tourism’s newest mission. Louisville’s first Airport Welcome Center, a new resource available to help travelers navigate the city’s hotels, attractions, culinary and Bourbon options, is now open at the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF) – marking the first of its kind at SDF.

The new Airport Welcome Center offers a personal touch to help travelers get the most out of their stay by providing expertise and recommendations, ultimately driving tourism impact all around the city. During key peak days and times, the Airport Welcome Center will engage in activations to promote Bourbon City’s distilleries – including distillery-hosted bourbon tastings, inviting guests to sample bourbon balls and showcasing Louisville’s music scene through live performances or curated playlists.

“Travelers will now begin their Bourbon City adventure the moment they step off the plane, getting an immediate taste of Louisville’s southern hospitality and culture with this dedicated visitor resource,” said Cleo Battle. “From distillery tours and bluegrass music to our iconic attractions and vibrant culinary scene, guests will get an intimate introduction to Louisville before they even depart the airport, helping them maximize their time in our city.”

The new Airport Welcome Center will be instrumental in assisting guests arriving for the 150th Kentucky Derby, the 106th PGA Championship and popular music festivals Bourbon & Beyond and Louder Than Life. This year, guests can view a special display of miniature horses representing the 11 Black jockeys who won the Kentucky Derby since Oliver Lewis and his inaugural win in 1875. It is part of a Gallapalooza event sponsored by Churchill Downs.

“The new welcome center from Louisville Tourism at SDF is another great addition for our airport,” said Dan Mann, Executive Director of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority. “It provides a dedicated space to learn about the great things to do, variety of local restaurants and top attractions throughout the community including all things bourbon. Through our relationship with our tourism friends, we are working towards the same goal of providing visitors a best-in-class experience when they arrive at SDF.”

The new Airport Welcome Center will compliment the efforts of the volunteer Airport Ambassador Program at SDF, which is nearing its 20th anniversary. Volunteers will continue staffing the terminal’s Information Center on baggage claim as they help passengers and other visitors with airport-specific questions, needs and other assistance as they arrive to Louisville. In 2023, the Airport Ambassador Program assisted more than 71,800 individuals and families.

“At Solid Light, we’re proud Louisvillians. It’s an honor to be the design partner for the new Airport Welcome Center celebrating all Bourbon City has to offer,” says Cynthia Torp, Owner and CEO of Solid Light. “We understand that as people are on the move, they seek and receive signals from their environment. Our design utilizes a unique blend of local graphics, warm messaging, furnishings, and objects to stand out—creating an inviting, contemporary environment that welcomes visitors as they prepare to explore Louisville.”

Daily operating hours for the Louisville Tourism Airport Welcome Center at SDF is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. except on major holidays.

As one of Travel + Leisure’s ‘Top Places to Travel to in 2024,’ Louisville continues to undergo a spirited renaissance with additional hotels in various planning or opening stages, new festivals, restaurants and more than a dozen additional distilleries and attractions now open within the city limits.


About Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF)
The Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF) is owned and operated by the Louisville Regional Airport Authority. Eight commercial airlines offer nonstop service to more than 35 nonstop destinations from Louisville. SDF is home to UPS Worldport, moving millions of tons of product each year, making it the 3rd busiest cargo airport in North America and 5th in the world. Aviation is an economic powerhouse for the region that generates $10.4 billion in economic impact every year. One in 8 jobs is generated by the airports and their aviation partners.

About Louisville Tourism
Since 1968, Louisville Tourism’s primary goal has been to enhance the area’s economy through tourism development – to promote and sell Louisville as a world-class destination. Prior to the pandemic, Tourism was the third largest industry in Louisville generating an estimated economic impact of $3.7 billion which supported 70,000 local tourism-related jobs. Visit to learn more about Louisville Tourism.