Economic impact of Kentucky tourism up slightly in 2011

Gov. Steve Beshear. Photo by John Flavell
Gov. Steve Beshear. Photo by John Flavell John Flavell

FRANKFORT — Tourism had a nearly $11.7 billion impact on Kentucky's economy last year, an increase of 3 percent from 2010, state officials said Monday.

"Despite a tough economy, the Kentucky tourism industry continues to shine," Gov. Steve Beshear said in a statement.

An annual survey showed that tourism was responsible for 169,932 jobs in Kentucky in 2011, up slightly from the previous year. Those jobs generated more than $2.6 billion in wages for Kentucky workers, an increase of $76 million from the previous year.

Tourism generated $1.22 billion in tax revenue for local and state governments in 2011, an increase from $1.19 billion in 2010, the survey found.

All nine tourism regions in the state showed gains for 2011.

"The state's 'There's Only One' tourism promotion campaign points out the unique tourism attractions we have in Kentucky, which is part of the reason our tourism industry continues to grow," said Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Marcheta Sparrow.

The report was produced by Certec Inc. of Versailles.

For more details about the economic impact study, including county-level expenditures, go to and click on research.

The Department of Travel and Tourism also announced Monday that 13 tourism sites are being added to the original 31 There's Only One sites announced in January.

These sites went through an application process and will be listed on the department's Web site. They are: Ale-8-One, Winchester; American Printing House for the Blind, Louisville; American Saddlebred Museum, Lexington; Beer Cheese Festival, Winchester; Creation Museum, Petersburg; Headley-Whitney Museum, Lexington; Kentucky Bourbon Trail, central Kentucky; Kentucky Down Under, Horse Cave; KentuckyShow!, Louisville; Pikeville Cut Through Project, Pikeville; Portal 31 Exhibition Mine, Benham; The Great American Dollhouse Museum, Danville; The Stephen Foster Story, Bardstown

To learn more about the There's Only One listing and other Kentucky tourism sites, go to