Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet & Department of Tourism
Tourism: a Primary Driver of Kentucky’s Economy • Visitor spending and visitation growth in Kentucky both increased in 2019, according to a study from Tourism Economics, the Kentucky Department of Tourism’s research partner. • Visitor trips to the Commonwealth topped 73. 8 million in 2019. • In 2019, visitor spending in Kentucky climbed to nearly $7. 9 billion. • The economic impact of the tourism industry in Kentucky in 2019 rose to $11. 8 billion, generating more than 95, 800 jobs and $823 million in state and local taxes. • In 2019, tourism spending resulted in nearly $976 million for recreation, $1. 8 billion for accommodations, $1. 6 billion for retail, $1. 6 billion for transportation and $2 billion for food and beverage. • In 2019, without tourism business sales throughout the state, every household in Kentucky would have paid an additional $475 in state and local taxes.
Impact of COVID -19 in the United States
Weekly Travel Spending in Kentucky
Weekly Travel Spend Year-over-Year Change
Cumulative Travel Spending Losses
Tax Revenue Losses Total $349 Million
Good News for Kentucky Tourism • Gradual weekly increases in travel spending since April 29, our low point. • Outdoor activities are leading indicators – lakes, campgrounds, state parks, etc. – and currently showing increased activity. However, the season is rapidly coming to an end. • State Park occupancy overall around 56%. State occupancy in July was 43. 9%. • Kentucky is positioned well for recovery.
Travel Sentiment Research • Kentucky has what travelers want – outdoor activities, smaller communities, history, heritage, driveability – the ability to be active while socially distant. • According to research by Longwoods International: • 67% of respondents have travel plans in the next six months which equals pent up demand to travel. • 27% will now drive instead of fly. • Safety is a primary concern of travelers. • 61% said they would only visit or are more likely to visit destinations that require masks in public.
Stay Close. Go Far. Marketing Campaign • Increase in-state travel through day and weekend trips, which will lead to increased spending and tax revenue. • Inspire consumers to consider a Kentucky vacation through content that highlights all there is to see and do across the state. • Remind Kentuckians they don’t have to travel far to be transported a world away. The Bluegrass State is full of surprises … even to those who call it home. • Campaign will include TV, radio, digital and print.