The economic impact of tourism in Kentucky amounted to nearly $11.7 billion in 2011, Gov. Steve Beshear and Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Marcheta Sparrow announced Monday in a state press release. The economic impact figure is a 3 percent increase from 2010. “Despite a tough economy, the Kentucky tourism industry continues to shine,” Beshear said. “These figures underscore the importance of tourism in Kentucky as well as in every community across the Commonwealth.”
The release of the figures coincides with National Travel and Tourism Week, celebrated May 5-13 this year.
“The state’s ‘There’s Only One’ tourism promotion campaign points out the unique tourism attractions we have in Kentucky, which is part of the reason our tourism industry continues to grow,” Sparrow, who made the announcement in Louisville, said. “Tourism supports jobs for Kentuckians and businesses of all kinds across the state.”
The annual survey also showed that tourism was responsible for 169,932 jobs in Kentucky in 2011 – a small increase from the previous year. These jobs generated more than $2.6 billion in wages for Kentucky workers, an increase of $76 million from the previous year. Tourism generated $1.22 billion in tax revenues for local and state governments in 2011, an increase from $1.19 billion in 2010. All nine tourism regions showed gains for 2011.
Madeline Abramson, wife of Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, took part in a ceremony with Sparrow and Acting Travel Commissioner Hank Phillips at the Belle of Louisville and presented them with a proclamation from the governor in honor of Travel and Tourism Week.
The Department of Travel and Tourism also announced Monday that 13 tourism sites are being added to the original 31 “There’s Only One” sites announced in January. These sites went through an application process and will be listed on the department’s website. They are:
- Ale-8-One, Winchester
- American Printing House for the Blind, Louisville
- American Saddlebred Museum, Lexington
- Beer Cheese Festival, Winchester
- Creation Museum, Petersburg
- Headley-Whitney Museum, Lexington
- Kentucky Bourbon Trail, central Kentucky
- Kentucky Down Under, Horse Cave
- KentuckyShow!, Louisville
- Pikeville Cut Through Project, Pikeville
- Portal 31 Exhibition Mine, Benham
- The Great American Dollhouse Museum, Danville
- The Stephen Foster Story, Bardstown