Bowling Green, Ky. - May 5, 2015 – The annual survey of tourism spending in Kentucky shows a 6.2 percent increase in Warren County in 2014, bringing the total to $387.3 million, up from $365.3 million in 2013. Of the nine state tourism regions, the 10-county Caves, Lakes & Corvettes region in which Warren is included saw the highest increase in direct tourism expenditures at 6.7 percent, equaling $395.1 million, adding an overall amount of $621.1 million in total expenditures to the region’s economy.
“We’re ecstatic to learn Warren County experienced gains and that our Caves, Lakes & Corvettes region saw the highest increase in state travel spending in 2014,” Vicki Fitch, Executive Director of the Bowling Green Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, said. “Several factors contributed to why tourism increased so heavily: international publicity our area received after a sinkhole swallowed eight Corvettes at the National Corvette Museum, plus record visitor attendance reported at the Corvette Museum, GM Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant and Historic Railpark & Train Museum, along with hosting major national auto enthusiast and sporting events boasting record attendance.”
Tourism is one of Kentucky’s top industries, with an annual economic impact in 2014 of more than $13.1 billion, an increase of 4.4 percent from 2013. The industry was responsible for 179,963 jobs, up 4,127 jobs from 2013. These jobs generated more than $2.9 billion in wages for Kentucky workers, an increase of $123 million from 2013.
“The economic impact from tourism in Kentucky has increased by more than $2.2 billion and 13,000 jobs over the last five years,” Governor Steve Beshear said. “That translates to more spending and jobs in small and large communities across the state. I’m proud that our work with the tourism industry has been so successful.”
Tourism generated $1.37 billion in tax revenues for local and state governments in 2014 and all nine state tourism regions showed gains for 2014.
“It’s great news that tourism spending is up in rural and urban areas all across the state,” Bob Stewart, Secretary of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, said. “The growing impact of Kentucky’s tourism industry continues to fuel economic activity all over the Commonwealth, and that’s a great sign for our overall economic vitality.”
The release of the figures coincides with National Travel and Tourism Week, celebrated May 2-10.
“The 2014 numbers clearly show that our industry’s work and advertising efforts are reaching potential visitors and driving traffic to the Commonwealth,” Michael Mangeot, Commissioner of the Department of Travel and Tourism, said. “Kentucky competes with destinations world-wide, and advertising plays a vital role in allowing us to showcase the authentic opportunities that set us apart with travelers.”
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 For m.ore about Kentucky tourism, please visit http://www.kentuckytourism.com