PIKE COUNTY, Ky. (May 19, 2016) — Pike County has seen a surge in visitor spending over the past few years, to the tune of $5.8 million. This is good news considering the economic downturn that the region has experienced due to decline of the coal industry.
“Our marketing efforts have been largely focused on bringing in group travelers, history buffs, and outdoor enthusiasts,” Pike County Tourism CVB Executive Director Tony K. Tackett said. “Our entertainment offerings have also been a big source of discussion in our marketing advertising.”
Pike County Tourism CVB chairlady Judi Conway Patton believes this is a sign of great things to come. “As Chairlady of Pike County Tourism CVB, it is an honor to serve our community and bring great news. Our board of seven oversees daily operations, marketing, sales and staff of Pike County Tourism CVB. Our goal is to shine Pike County’s light, to educate and bring awareness to our great outdoor adventure, award-winning theatres, our wealth of historic locales and the East Kentucky Expo Center,” Patton said. “Since 2014, our focus has been to bring motor coaches, conferences and conventions to our area. With our new visitor guides, convention guide and our partnerships with motor coach owner/operators, we are seeing a great increase in visitors discovering our beautiful Pikeville-Pike County, Kentucky.”
“These numbers were calculated using what is called a RIMS II input-output model, which was developed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis,” Jay Shepherd, Marketing Director for Pike County Tourism CVB, said. “These are reliable numbers, and gives us a clear picture of what we and our partners have accomplished in our local tourism efforts.
“There are two numbers that are provided by the state that tells us what kind of impact the tourist dollar is having in our area, direct expenditures and indirect expenditures. Direct expenditures speaks to the spending that is a direct result of tourists in our area, engaging in business with our restaurants, hotels, shopping establishments and attractions. Direct spending for 2015 was $69.4M, an increase of $3.8M from 2014,” Shepherd said. “Indirect spending represents the circulation of that dollar within our community, being re-spent at various businesses. Indirect spending for 2015 is over $39.7M, an increase of over $2M from 2014. Thirty-eight more tourism related jobs were created in 2015 as compared to 2014, totaling 944 positions. With all the negativity surrounding the decline in our economy, I believe this is good news, and we should have faith that things can and will improve.”
Mike Alexander, General Manager of the Hilton Garden Inn Pikeville, said of the tourism economic impact report: “The continued increase in tourism dollars spent in Pike County is exciting. Through the efforts of our County and City tourism offices, we continue to attract visitors from around the country. The report documents that the efforts of Pikeville/Pike County Tourism are having a tremendous impact on the economy of Pike County and its residents. We are blessed to have such hard-working and dedicated individuals promoting our area.”
These statistics were provided by the Kentucky Tourism and Travel Industry, and suggest that the tourism industry is a key part in assisting the Eastern Kentucky region in recovering economically.