Tourism spending rises in Bowling Green area in 2012
Bowling Green, Ky. – In keeping with a statewide trend, the annual survey of tourism spending in Kentucky shows a 5.2 percent increase in Warren County in 2012, bringing the total to $353.6 million, up from $336.1 million in 2011. The release of the figures coincides with National Travel and Tourism Week, celebrated May 4-12 this year.
The ten-county Caves, Lakes & Corvettes Region in which Warren is included saw an increase of 5.5% in direct tourism expenditures equaling $358,083,552, adding an overall amount of $562,907,344 in total expenditures to the region’s economy. All ten counties saw increases in 2011. Warren had the largest increase in the region followed by Barren.
Tourism is one of Kentucky’s top industries, with an annual economic impact in 2012 of more than $12.2 billion, an increase of 4.4 percent from 2011. The industry was responsible for 174,0006 jobs, up 4,078 jobs from 2011. These jobs generated more than $2.7 billion in wages for Kentucky workers, an increase of $117 million from 2011.
“We are very happy to learn that Warren County and the ten-county Caves, Lakes & Corvettes Region both saw gains of over 5% in travel spending in 2012,” Vicki Fitch, Executive Director of the Bowling Green Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, said. “Growth within existing tournaments and events, plus the addition of new events like the week-long National Derby Rallies and Sun Belt Baseball Championships all contributed to last year’s impact. Throughout the region and state, we continue to put more resources into growing our online presence to capture the traveler where they are spending more and more of their time and it’s definitely working.”
Tourism generated $1.227 billion in tax revenues for local and state governments in 2012, an increase from $1.223 billion in 2011.
“The Kentucky tourism industry continues to do well, which is good news for all of us,” Gov. Steve Beshear said. “These figures illustrate the importance of tourism in Kentucky as well as in communities big and small across the Commonwealth.”
The survey was produced for the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet by Certec Inc. of Versailles. A full report of tourism economic impact study are available at http://www.kentuckytourism.com/industry.