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Tourism Dollars Increase in Northern Kentucky

The economic impact of tourism in Kentucky amounted to more than $12.5 billion in 2013, Governor Steve Beshear and Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Bob Stewart announced today. The economic impact figure is a 2.6 percent increase from 2012.

Northern Kentucky accounted for $1.7 billion of that figure, an increase of 1.8%.

“Our tourism industry continues to grow because Kentucky has stunning natural beauty, interesting and exciting attractions, and world class hospitality that make our visitors want to come back over and over again,” Gov. Beshear said.  “Its growth is also evidence of the hard work of tourism businesses and the professionals who work hard each and every day to make Kentucky the great destination it is.”

The release of the figures coincides with National Travel and Tourism Week, celebrated May 3-11 this year.

“The continued popularity of bourbon and a steady uptick in the meetings and conventions sector will be important for our ability to attract even more visitors to Kentucky this year,” Stewart said. “The opening of the new convention center in Owensboro; the reopening of Kentucky Kingdom later this month; the return of normal water level at Lake Cumberland and the fact we are hosting the PGA Championship, which brings with it tremendous television coverage, all point to a great opportunity for growth this year.” 

In Northern Kentucky's three largest counties, the figures looked like this: Boone County, $1.37 billion (up from $1.34 billion in 2012); Kenton County, $1 billion (up from $985 billion in 2012); Campbell County, $122 million (up from $120 million in 2012).

The annual survey also showed that tourism was responsible for 175,746 jobs in Kentucky in 2013 – an increase of 1,740 jobs from the previous year. These jobs generated more than $2.8 billion in wages for Kentucky workers, an increase of nearly $72 million from the previous year. 

In Northern Kentucky, the total jobs from direct tourism expenditures amounted to 15,644.

Tourism generated $1.3 billion in tax revenues for local and state governments in 2013, an increase from $1.23 billion in 2012.  Seven of the nine tourism regions showed gains for 2013.

Photo via Newport on the Levee

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