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How NKY Counties Fared in Tourism Dollars in 2017

The economic impact of Kentucky’s tourism industry grew to more than $15 billion in 2017, Department of Tourism Commissioner Kristen Branscum announced. All nine of the state’s tourism regions registered gains again in 2017.

“The tourism industry is a driving force for Kentucky’s economy and the 2017 economic impact numbers reinforce this,” Branscum said. “We look at growth in our state in terms of investment and the impact numbers prove that visitors are investing their money and time into Kentucky.”  

Kentucky's tourism industry generated over $15 billion in economic impact during 2017, an increase of 3.8 percent over the previous year. The industry also supported over 195,000 jobs. Kentucky tourism generated more than $1.5 billion in tax revenue, with $202 million going directly to local communities.

The Kentucky Department of Tourism continues to build upon Kentucky’s signature tourism industries of horses, bourbon, music, arts, outdoors and culinary to reach new audiences and position Kentucky as a top-tier travel destination for visitors internationally and domestically.  

To view the full economic impact report, visit: kentuckytourism.com/industry/toolkit/.

Locally, Boone County was the top earner of tourism dollars with expenditures reported of $1.691 billion. Kenton County was the only other local county to bring in more than $1 billion, with $1.197 billion.

Campbell County was a distant third at $162 million.

Grant County pulled in $79 million, Mason County brought in $73 million, and Carroll County earned $54 million.

Overall, the Northern Kentucky River Region saw more than $3.3 billion in expenditures, outpaced only by the region that includes Louisville, and just ahead of the region that includes Lexington.

-Staff report