The Lane List — Top counties for tourism travel expenditures

By wmadministrator

Kentucky tourism travel expenditures increased 3 percent from 2010 to 2011, according to data collected by the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. More than $7.4 billion in travel expenditures was spent in Kentucky in 2011, the most recent year for which statistics are available. The highest expenditures were in the Bourbon, Horses and History region, $2.1 billion, followed by the Bluegrass region with approximately $1.65 million. Rounding out the top three is the Northern Kentucky River region with $1.62 billion.

The Bluegrass, Blues and Barbecue region –  Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, Hopkins, McLean, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Union and Webster counties – had the most growth in travel expenditures from 2010 to 2011, 9.3 percent.

Jefferson County (Louisville)

$2.76 billion

Churchill Downs
Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

Tourism region: Bourbon, Horses and History

Previous total: $2.68 billion

Some of the top attractions: Louisville Slugger Museum, Kentucky Derby Museum, Louisville Mega Cavern, Churchill Downs, Cherokee Park

Fayette County (Lexington)

$1.77 billion

Tourism region: Bluegrass

Previous total: $1.79 billion

Some of the top attractions: Keeneland, Kentucky Horse Park, Rupp Arena, Whitaker Bank Ballpark, The Red Mile

Boone County (Florence, Union)

$1.3 billion

Tourism region: Northern Kentucky River

Previous total: $1.27 billion

Some of the top attractions: Turfway Park, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Big Bone Lick State Park

Kenton County (Covington)

$955 million

Tourism region: Northern Kentucky River

Previous total: $922 million

Some of the top attractions: Madison Theatre, Northern Kentucky Convention & Visitors Bureau, The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center

Warren County (Bowling Green)

$336 million

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky.
The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky.

Tourism region: Caves, Lakes and Corvettes

Previous total: $325 million

Some of the top attractions: National Corvette Museum, Shanty Hollow Lake, Riverview at Hobson Grove

McCracken County (Paducah)

$299 million

Tourism region: Western Waterlands

Previous total: $291 million

Some of the top attractions: National Quilt Museum, Kentucky’s Western Waterlands, Paducah Riverwalk, floodwall murals

Hardin County (Elizabethtown)

$262 million

Tourism region: Bourbon, Horses and History

Previous total: $256 million

Some of the top attractions: Swope’s Cars of Yesteryear Museum, Historic State Theater, Hardin County Playhouse, Freeman Lake Park

Daviess County (Owensboro)

$258 million

Tourism region: Bluegrass, Blues and Barbecue

Previous total: $240 million

Some of the top attractions: Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, International Bluegrass Music Museum, Legion Park, Western Kentucky Botanical Garden

Boyd County (Ashland)

$172 million

Tourism region: Kentucky Appalachians

Previous total: $166 million

Some of the top attractions: Paramount Theater, Ohio River, Highlands Museum and Discovery Center

Madison County (Richmond, Berea)

$154 million

Tourism region: Bluegrass

Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.
Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.

Previous total: $143 million

Some of the top attractions: Lake Reba, Kentucky Artisan Center, Boone Tavern, Studio Artists of Berea, Battle of Richmond Park

Franklin County (Frankfort)

$150 million

Tourism region: Bluegrass

Previous total: $148 million

Some of the top attractions: State capitol, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Thomas D. Clark For Kentucky History

Laurel County (London)

$145 million

Tourism region: Daniel Boone Country

Previous total: $149 million

Some of the top attractions: Laurel Lake, Daniel Boone National Forest, Levi Jackson State Park

Scott County (Georgetown)

$128 million

Newport Aquarium in Newport, Ky.
Newport Aquarium in Newport, Ky.

Tourism region: Bluegrass

Previous total: $125 million

Some of the top attractions: Georgetown College, Yuko-En Japanese Friendship Garden, Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Home

Christian County (Hopkinsville)

$119 million

Tourism region: Western Waterlands

Previous total: $113 million

Some of the top attractions: Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park, Alhambra Theatre, Trail of Tears Park, Kentucky Veterans Cemetery

Campbell County (Alexandria, Newport)

$115 million

Tourism region: Northern Kentucky River

Previous total: $111 million

Some of the top attractions: Newport on the Levee, Newport Aquarium, Northern Kentucky Symphony, riverboats