A new report shows that tourism is up in Kentucky, with more people visiting the state and spending more money while they are here. In fact, visitor trips to and within the state topped 71.6 million last year and visitor spending rose to nearly $7.6 billion, up nearly 4% over the prior year and a 21% increase since 2013. The figures come from a study from Tourism Economics, the state Department of Tourism's new research partner. Acting Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Tourism Jay Hall discusses the findings with WUKY's Alan Lytle.
Using the Tourism Economics model, Hall says the tourism industry's economic impact in Kentucky went from $10.9 billion in 2017 to $11.2 billion in 2018, generating more than 94,500 jobs and $787 million in state and local taxes.
The tourism department says it continues to build on Kentucky's signature tourism industries of horses, bourbon, music, arts, outdoors and culinary to reach new audiences.