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Friday, May 19, 2017

Kentucky Tourism Industry Generated $14.5 Billion in 2016

Northern Kentucky Continues Epic Tourism Growth

The economic impact of tourism has grown to more than $14.5 billion in 2016, Department of Tourism Commissioner Kristen Branscum announced during the celebration of Travel and Tourism Week. Kentucky’s tourism industry has experienced the strongest overall economic impact growth rate the state has seen since 2005.  All nine of the state’s tourism regions registered gains again in 2016.

The Northern Kentucky River Region posted one of the highest increases, growing revenues from tourism by 7.3%. Direct expenditures by tourists in the Northern Kentucky area of Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties, have grown to $1.83 billion. The industry continues to expand with the new hotel development in the region, like the Hotel Covington opening in September 2016, as well as new visitor attractions opening as the Ark Encounter did in July 2016.

“Spending by visitors has strengthened Northern Kentucky’s economy by creating jobs, supporting local businesses from restaurants to lodging and generating tax revenues to support our community,” Eric Summe, President and CEO of meetNKY |Northern Kentucky CVB said.

The robust visitor economy is a large job creator in Northern Kentucky. More than 13,000 jobs in Northern Kentucky are supported by the visitor industry. This number continues to grow each year, highlighting the overall growth of the tourism industry in the region.

“A vibrant tourism industry, means a vibrant Kentucky,” Commissioner Kristen Branscum said. “The natural beauty of our state provides unlimited opportunities for visitors to experience recreation or leisure activities around every corner. The economic impact numbers for 2016 reinforce the fact that the tourism industry is a vital economic driver for Kentucky.”

Kentucky's tourism industry generated $14.5 billion in economic impact during 2016, an increase of over five percent from $13.7 billion in 2015. The industry supported nearly 193,000 jobs and generated more than $1.5 billion in tax revenue, with $195.1 million going directly to local communities. The full tourism economic impact study is available at

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