Kentucky tourism

Regional
5:22 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Kentucky Tourism Numbers, Tourism-Related Jobs Edge Up

Abraham Lincoln's birthplace in Hodgenville is one of several tourist destinations across Kentucky
Credit Emil Moffatt

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. 

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Economy
3:40 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Kentucky Tourism Up More Than 4 Percent From 2011

Visits to bourbon distilleries like Woodford Reserve are a major part of Kentucky's tourism industry.
Credit Kevin Willis

A new report says the economic impact of tourism in Kentucky grew again last year.

The study reports a $12 billion impact for tourism last year.  That's up about four and a half percent from the previous year. In addition, the report credits tourism for 174,000 jobs and $2.7 billion in wages.

In a statement, tourism officials give partial credit to growth of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

The series of distilleries has drawn steady interest since it's inception in 1999, but broke an attendance record last year, drawing over half a million visitors.