Tourism Increases 7.3% in Kentucky in 2004
Frankfort, KY - Tourism in Kentucky increased 7.3% in 2004 and added $8.7 billion to the state’s economy, according to new statistics released today by the Kentucky Department of Tourism.
The report, compiled by the Travel Industry Association (TIA), also showed 174,300 Kentuckians are employed due to tourism, earning more than $3.3 billion in payroll income. That means for every one million dollars spent by tourists, 30 Kentucky jobs were created.
"While Kentucky has done tourism research in the past, this new methodology is more helpful because we are employing the latest research techniques and comparing ourselves with other states," said Randy Fiveash, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Tourism. "In other words, we are taking an ‘apples to apples’ approach to comparing numbers. This will serve as a good baseline from which we can measure future growth."
The new tourism impact statistics were unveiled during the 2005 Kentucky Tourism Industry Annual Conference being held in Lexington. According to the TIA report, nearly $5.9 billion was spent directly by domestic travelers in Kentucky in 2004. Added to the indirect spending, the total value is $8.7 billion.
"Our department has historically done our own research internally," said Commissioner Fiveash. "We had been using the same process first developed in the 1980’s. While it was an innovative approach at the time, we believe that having a third party conducting independent research will now give us a more accurate picture of how we are doing to attract visitors to the Commonwealth."
"Having this type of research is critical to our efforts," said Vicki Fitch, Executive Director of the Bowling Green Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. "We are expanding our own research efforts, so we need to know where we stand in relation to our competition - the surrounding states."
"The Kentucky Department of Tourism has taken a fresh approach to stateside research," added Tom Caradonio, President of the Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau. "It gives us a good baseline upon which we can measure our future growth. This is further proof of the importance of tourism to the state's overall economy."
In approximately two weeks, tourism numbers will be available for each region of Kentucky as well as for each individual county in the state.
While comparable 2004 data is not yet available for other states in the region, the TIA (using this same methodology) has previously projected direct economic impact for Ohio at $12.8 billion, Tennessee at $10.6 billion, Indiana at $6.7 billion, Illinois at $22.2 billion, Missouri at $9.5 billion, and West Virginia at $1.8 billion.
The Kentucky Department of Tourism, an agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet, exists to promote The Commonwealth as a travel destination, generate revenue and create jobs for Kentucky’s economy.