Home » Tourism industry celebrates 2022 as best year on record for economic impact

Tourism industry celebrates 2022 as best year on record for economic impact

FRANKFORT, Ky. — 2022 was the best year on record for Kentucky tourism, with $12.9 billion in economic impact and 91,668 jobs. 

In 2022, 75.9 million travelers visited Kentucky, spending $8.9 billion across the commonwealth, according to a study by Tourism Economics. More than $937 million in state and local taxes were generated, equating to a $536 tax savings for every Kentucky household. Total visitation reached 103% of 2019 volumes, and visitor spending reached 112%.

“What an incredible achievement for our tourism industry: record-breaking numbers of visitors, jobs and tax revenue in 2022,” said Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet Secretary Lindy Casebier. “These numbers underscore the economic benefits of tourism and the importance of investing in our local communities. The investments made by Gov. Beshear have paid off and will continue to pay dividends across the commonwealth. Every Kentucky community offers travelers a unique experience, and we are proud to support them in their efforts.”

“We are thrilled to see such a strong return to travel in 2022,” said Mike Mangeot, Kentucky Department of Tourism commissioner. “We look forward to building on this momentum as we begin putting the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to work in communities across the state and truly making the most of this opportunity, reaching more prospective visitors than ever.”

The 2022 numbers surpassed the previous highest record of $11.8 billion in economic impact in 2019 and 91,668 jobs.

Communities across Kentucky saw historic numbers, including Fayette County, which reached $1.5 billion in total economic impact, generating 11,209 jobs.

“Travel and tourism in Lexington is booming, in part due to the tremendous support of Gov. Beshear,” said Mary Quinn Ramer, president of VisitLex. “Tourism not only provides meaningful employment to more than 11,000 locals, but it also drives the strong quality of life for our locals and adds economic vitality to our city. We are pleased to celebrate our city’s strong post-pandemic tourism numbers.”

To see the full study from Tourism Economics, click here.

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