Kentucky Tourism Sees Strongest Overall Economic Impact Growth in 10 Years

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Henderson County Tourist Commission reports increases in travel expenditures and sustained jobs for Henderson, Kentucky and the Bluegrass, Blues and Barbecue Region

“Spending by visitors has strengthened Henderson’s economy by creating jobs, supporting local businesses from gas stations to retail stores and generating tax revenues to support our community.” - Kyle Hittner

Cabinet of Tourism, Arts and Heritage Sec. Don Parkinson announced that Kentucky’s tourism industry has experienced the strongest overall economic impact growth rate the state has seen since 2005. All nine of the state’s tourism regions registered gains for 2015 compared with 2014.

Direct travel expenditures in 2015 totaled $59,596,513 in Henderson, Kentucky. Indirect travel expenditures in 2015 totaled $93,685,808. Direct expenditures within the region sustained 1,079 jobs. This was a 5.3% increase over 2014. The Bluegrass, Blues and Barbecue Region - of which Henderson is a part - increased by 5.2% between 2014-2015. Total revenue for the region was $348,476,776. Direct expenditures within the region sustained 4,991 jobs that cannot be exported.

“Spending by visitors has strengthened Henderson’s economy by creating jobs, supporting local businesses from gas stations to retail stores and generating tax revenues to support our community,” Kyle Hittner, Henderson County Tourist Commission, said.

Kentucky's tourism industry generated $13.7 billion in economic impact during 2015, an increase of five percent over the previous year. The industry supported more than 186,000 jobs, including 6,200 jobs created in 2015.

Kentucky tourism generated more than $1.43 billion in taxes, with $184.9 million going directly to local communities. These are the strongest overall numbers the Commonwealth has seen in the past 10 years.

“There continues to be momentum for tourism throughout Kentucky,” said Sec. Parkinson. “Kentucky is blessed with signature industries such as bourbon and horses. Authentic Kentucky destinations continue to draw people to the Commonwealth.”

“The economic impact numbers for 2015 reinforce the fact that the tourism industry continues to be an economic driver for Kentucky,” said Department of Travel and Tourism Commissioner Kristen Branscum. “Our growth in 2015 is a great indicator of how well we are marketing Kentucky and the encouraging way visitors are responding.”

The Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism plans to build upon the six pillars of Kentucky Tourism (horses, bourbon, music, arts, outdoors and culinary) over the next year with creative marketing and programming that will reach new audiences and present Kentucky as a top-level destination.

Additionally, the budget approved by Gov. Matt Bevin includes $18 million in additional funding to improve the safety and aesthetics of Kentucky State Parks. These improvements will strengthen Kentucky’s tourism industry.

To learn more about Kentucky tourism, visit http://www.kentuckytourism.com

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Madeline Fritz
@tourhendersonky
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