UNION CO., KY (WMSK) – Tourism and travel expenditures were up more than 1-million dollars in Union County from 2014 to 2015, according to figures released this week by Kentucky’s Tourism Arts & Heritage Cabinet.
Union County Tourism Director Paul Monsour reports the increase for the county was at a little over 10 percent, which more than doubles the state increase of five percent.
In addition, he states travel and tourism employment in Union County rose from 70 to 75 people from 2014 to 2015.
Monsour indicates travel and tourism spending in Union County was at nearly 10.9 million dollars in 2015, up from the 9.87 million dollars in 2014.
He also indicates Union County is part of the Bluegrass, Blues & Barbeque region and spending in that region showed a 5.2 percent increase.
Monsour says it’s always good to see that travel and tourism has increased in the county, and he attributes the growth to the people and businesses in the community.
Meanwhile, Cabinet of Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Don Parkinson announced Wednesday that Kentucky’s tourism industry has experienced the strongest overall economic impact growth rate the state has seen since 2005.
According to a release, Kentucky’s tourism industry generated 13.7 billion dollars in economic impact during 2015, an increase of five percent from 2014. Officials say the industry supported more than 186-thousand jobs, including 62-hundred jobs created in 2015.
State officials report tourism in the Commonwealth generated more than 1.43 billion dollars in taxes, with 184.9 million dollars going directly to local communities. Secretary Parkinson says these are the strongest overall numbers the state has seen in the past ten years.
The Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism plans to build upon the six pillars of Kentucky tourism (horses, bourbon, music, arts, outdoors and culinary) over the next year with creative marketing and programming that will reach new audiences and present Kentucky as a top-level destination.
In addition, state officials say the budget approved by Governor Matt Bevin includes 18-million dollars in additional funding to improve the safety and aesthetics of Kentucky Parks. Secretary Parkinson indicates these improvements will strengthen Kentucky’s tourism industry.