Frankfort, KY.- The Kentucky Department of Tourism has undertaken a groundbreaking research program that will assist the Commonwealth and its communities in boosting the number of visitors to Kentucky and better identify their tourism preferences and tourism’s economic impact to our economy.
The economic impact portion of the research program will be performed by the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA). TIA is recognized as one of the nation’s leading authorities in the travel and tourism field and their estimates can readily be compared to other states’ performance. This projection will include an estimate of direct spending by travelers, the number of jobs and amount of payroll the tourism industry generates and the total amount of tax revenue generated.
The top priority of the Kentucky Department of Tourism is to define a method for reporting an accurate and consistent estimate of the economic impact of travel to the state, its tourism regions and each county in the state.
The second part of the Department’s research program will be a comprehensive demographic and behavioral visitor profile of the Kentucky traveler to aid Kentucky’s travel industry in developing and executing a thorough research-based marketing and communications program. This portion will be developed by the use of information provided by nationally respected research company D.K. Shifflet and their demographic and psychographic product, DirectTabs. Initial estimates for state data should be available to the Department of Tourism by early Summer and results for county-by-county data are expected to be completed by early Fall.
“With this data, we will know the types of people who visit Kentucky, the things they like to do and the places they prefer to go,” said Randy Fiveash, Commissioner of the Department of Tourism. “This way we can identify and improve those places and activities that our visitors feel are most unique to Kentucky.” Additionally we will have a definable and comparable economic impact and model for future years.
The announcement of the new research project comes as Kentucky celebrates “See America Week,” formerly known as National Tourism Week, May 7-15. This is a week when tourism professionals call attention to the fact that tourism adds to the economic, cultural and social value of the country. The stakes are high to attract the tourism dollar. Nationwide, tourism is a $950 billion dollar industry, creating some 7.2 million direct travel-related jobs generating $95 billion for local, state and federal governments.
“Kentucky has done economic impact research in the past, but the new methods available will allow us to really hone in on the impact in the 21st century, and to focus on the needs of today’s visitor,” added Commissioner Fiveash. “As a result, we will be well positioned to target and meet the needs of travelers both today and in the future.”
The Kentucky Department of Tourism, an agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet, exists to promote The Commonwealth as a travel destination, to generate revenue and create jobs for Kentucky's economy