Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Fletcher Administration Registers Strong Tourism Gains During First Two Years

Press Release Date:  Friday, May 19, 2006  
Contact Information:  Brett Hall
Jodi Whitaker
Troy Body

Chris Gilligan

Increase in tourism means new jobs, increased revenue

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Tourism in Kentucky increased 16.1 percent and created nearly 6,000 new jobs in Kentucky during 2004-2005, the first two years of the Fletcher administration, according to statistics released to day by the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet.

The report, compiled by the Travel Industry Association (TIA), also includes new statistics for 2005, showing a one-year increase of 8.2 percent over 2004. Tourism added $9.44 billion to the state’s economy in 2005, employed 176,200 Kentuckians, garnered more than $3.3 billion in payroll income and added more than $952 million in federal, state and local taxes.

“The primary goal of my administration has been expanding economic development and opportunity for all Kentuckians,” said Governor Fletcher. “This new report shows we have done just that in Kentucky’s tour and travel industry, and we have done it successfully.”

According to the TIA report, nearly $6.38 billion was spent directly by domestic travelers in Kentucky in 2005. Added to the indirect spending, the total value is $9.44 billion.

“We’ve been much more aggressive in marketing Kentucky in the past year,” said Governor Fletcher. “The ‘Kentucky Unbridled Spirit’ brand has given us national publicity. Add to that the local, regional and national advertising we’ve been able to acquire, and we’ve shown visitors some of the truly unique attributes of the Commonwealth. Once we get the visitor’s attention, we can likely get them to stay in Kentucky several days.”

“Governor Fletcher deserves credit for putting a priority on growing tourism,” said Tourism Commissioner Randy Fiveash. “In addition, our local tourism experts in each county are a major part of our success story. A visitor doesn’t just come to Kentucky. He or she comes to a community in Kentucky. Our local tourism experts, convention and visitor bureaus, attractions, restaurants, hotels and motels have ensured a quality experience so our visitors stay longer and make plans to come back.”

The new tourism impact statistics were unveiled during “See America Week in Kentucky,” an annual event during which the importance of tourism is celebrated in the commonwealth and throughout the country. Governor Fletcher signed a proclamation honoring the achievements of the Kentucky Department of Tourism, working with its partners, the Kentucky Tourism Council, local tourism organizations, convention and visitor bureaus, lodging, restaurants and visitor attractions.

Later this summer, tourism numbers will be available for each region of Kentucky and for each individual county in the state.


Economic Impact Fact Sheet