Lt. Governor Crit Luallen’s Communications Office
Lt. Gov. Luallen Touts Kentucky’s Tourism Impact

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, October 20, 2015  
Contact Information:  Terry Sebastian
Jenifer Brislin

Industry has $13 billion economic impact, supports 180,000 jobs statewide

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen today touted the economic impact of Kentucky’s travel and tourism industry, which has increased by more than $2.2 billion over the past five years, to $13 billion.

Speaking at the Kentucky Travel Industry Annual Conference, Lt. Gov. Luallen said the industry now supports 180,000 jobs statewide, making it the state’s third-largest job creator during the Beshear administration.

“Kentucky is on the move, and tourism is a big part of this success,” Lt. Gov. Luallen said.  “Working with our travel and tourism partners, we’ve showcased to the world Kentucky’s remarkable beauty and resources, from our magnificent mountains, unique cave system and recreation lakes, to our one-of-a-kind Kentucky Bourbon Trail destinations and world-famous thoroughbred industry.”

Luallen told the group that tourism is being recognized as an economic force throughout the Commonwealth and nation. She noted the Kentucky General Assembly established a standing committee to review and discuss issues associated with the industry, and the Shaping our Appalachian Region, or SOAR, initiative, named a Tourism working group to capitalize on the region’s rich natural amenities and potential for economic development and job creation. And the White House has established a national travel and tourism strategy, she said, recognizing that efforts to make America the top tourist destination in the world offers a tremendous opportunity to create jobs and strengthen the U.S. economy.

Luallen added that as our lives become increasingly technology-based, it’s more important than ever that people have the opportunity for “an authentic experience.”

“Tourism gives us that,” she said. “That’s why your industry is so important, not just to the economic well-being of our state, but to the fundamental well-being of our people.”

Following her remarks, the Lieutenant Governor recognized five national parks in Kentucky as part of the National Park Service Centennial in 2016.

Luallen presented proclamations to representatives of the parks, including the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace; Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area; Cumberland Gap National Historic Park; Fort Donelson National Battlefield; and Mammoth Cave National Park.

The proclamation from Gov. Steve Beshear proclaims the year 2016 as the National Park Service Centennial in Kentucky.