Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet
Tourism Economic Impact in Kentucky Reaches $13.1 Billion in 2014

Press Release Date:  Monday, May 04, 2015  
Contact Information:  Gil Lawson,
502-564-4270, ext 168

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The economic impact of tourism in Kentucky amounted to nearly $13.1 billion in 2014, Governor Steve Beshear announced today. The figure is a 4.4 percent increase 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,” 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.”


The release of the figures coincides with National Travel and Tourism Week, celebrated May 2-10 this year. This is the first time the tourism impact figure has exceeded $13 billion.


All nine tourism regions of the state reported increased tourist spending for 2014. 


The annual survey also showed that tourism supported 179,963 jobs in Kentucky in 2014 – an increase of 4,217 jobs from the previous year. These jobs generated more than $2.9 billion in wages for Kentucky workers, an increase of nearly $123 million from the previous year. 


Tourism generated $1.37 billion in tax revenues for local and state governments in 2014, an increase from $1.31 billion in 2013.  


“It’s great news that tourism spending is up in rural and urban areas all across the state,” said Bob Stewart, secretary of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. “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 2014 numbers clearly show that our industry’s work and advertising efforts are reaching potential visitors and driving traffic to the Commonwealth,” said Michael Mangeot, commissioner of the Department of Travel and Tourism. “Kentucky competes with destinations worldwide, and advertising plays a vital role in allowing us to showcase the authentic opportunities that set us apart with travelers.” 


The report was produced by Certec Inc., of Versailles.  For more details about the economic impact study, including county-level expenditures, visit and look under recent reports.


To learn more about Kentucky tourism, visit