Our View | Boost in Ky. tourism isn’t unexpected

Published 1:40 pm Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Famed Kentuckian Benjamin “Happy” Chandler once said, “I never met a Kentuckian who wasn’t either thinking about going home or actually going home.”

But it seems that more than Kentuckians are being drawn to the Bluegrass State.

An Associated Press report found the economic impact of Kentucky’s tourism industry has jumped nearly 4 percent to more than $15 billion.

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According to the AP, A report commissioned by the Kentucky Department of Tourism shows the industry supports more than 195,000 jobs across the state and generated $1.5 billion in taxes. Of that tax money, $202 million went to local governments while the rest went to the state government.

Tourists spending money in Kentucky accounted for more than $9.5 billion of the $15 billion impact. Tourism jobs accounted for $3.3 billion in wages to Kentucky workers.

Department of Tourism Commissioner Kristen Branscum said all of the state’s nine tourism regions posted gains in 2017. The largest gain was the Western Waterlands Region, which increased 6.4 percent.

This surge in interest in Kentucky tourism can largely be attributed to additional efforts to market the state as a beautiful, fun and historic destination.

But the work really does itself, in our opinion.

Kentucky is rich in history, offers eclectic regional foods and drinks, offers varying landscapes, boasts wineries and breweries and will always be famous as America’s horse country.

Clark County is no exception when it comes to the state’s amazing tourism potential. Our local tourism commission works closely with the city, county and other agencies, like the Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Winchester to market all that our community has to offer. Winchester-Clark is a destination for great food, historical tours, outdoor recreation and more.

Discovering something to do is as simple and exploring your own backyard.

We partnered with Winchester-Clark County Tourism to share some of the exciting things to experience in the community this summer. Find that list in our upcoming issue of Winchester Living magazine. In the meantime, visit tourwinchester.com and discover what our community has to offer.

To echo Happy’s sentiments, Kentuckians have always known the Bluegrass State is something special and not to be missed, we’re glad to see others are discovering this as well.