Kentucky added over 1,700 jobs in the tourism sector last year, bringing the total number of commonwealth residents employed in the tourism industry to 175,000. Bob Stewart, Kentucky’s Secretary of Tourism, Arts and Heritage says the number of jobs dependent on visitors is actually a lot more.
“We think about the front-line folks, but there are lots of other jobs,” said Stewart. “People who are involved in marketing; people who are involved in management of business and attractions and so-forth and so-on. It really does ripple through the economy.”
Overall, Kentucky saw a 2.6 percent boost in tourism spending, bringing the overall economic impact to $12.6 billion in 2013.
Stewart says the Bourbon Trail and so-called “adventure tourism”, or activities that make use of the state’s natural resources – are among the reasons for the boost in tourists. He also says the number of industry conventions and business meetings are also on the rise.