SHELBYVILLE, Ky. — The travel and tourism industry in Shelby County is quickly recovering from its pandemic lows. Economic impact reports released by the Kentucky Department of Tourism and the research company Tourism Economics show that visitors have returned to ShelbyKY (Shelbyville, Simpsonville, and Shelby County, Kentucky) as the most significant impacts of the pandemic fade.
Key findings from the research:
- The economic impact of tourism is greater in ShelbyKY than in 80% of Kentucky counties.
- Visitors to ShelbyKY spent $73.4 million across all tourism sectors in 2021, a nearly 25% increase from 2020 and an impressive 56% increase from 2019.
- Shelby County’s visitor spending ranks in the top fifth of all Kentucky counties (24 out of 120).
- Occupancy rates for ShelbyKY’s lodging options followed that trajectory, with an increase in occupancy for both traditional hotels and vacation rentals, including Airbnbs and VRBOs.
- Tourism supported more than 1,200 jobs in ShelbyKY, collectively earning wages of more than $15.5 million.
- In addition, state and local tax collection totaled $5.5 million, and as a result, the 17,000 households in ShelbyKY pay $327 less in taxes each year.