The purpose of this study is to provide an evaluation of the Eastern Kentucky Rural Highway Information Project, involving the establishment of a 511 Premium Tourism Service Package. Kentucky is only the second state to offer tourism related services through its 511 Travel System, placing the state in a position to offer insights gained from the project to other states considering the implementation of a similar program. Lessons learned from Kentucky’s experience with launching and managing a multi-county tourism information system will be invaluable. To that end, this study (1) reviewed the activities undertaken during launch and early operations of the Southern and Eastern Kentucky 511 Tourism Service, and (2) conducted a survey of users in an effort to gauge public use and receptiveness to this service. This report offers lessons learned during the start-up phase of the project pertaining to (1) institutional issues, (2) technical issues, and (3) public-private partnership issues. In addition, a survey was administered to 600 users of the 511 Tourism Service, in an effort to gauge current public sentiment about the service as well as discover additional features users would like the service to offer in the future.

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The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, nor the Federal Highway Administration.