KENTUCKY (WEHT) – Governor Andy Beshear and Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry announced Kentucky tourism went beyond 2021 expectations with a total economic impact reaching $11.2 billion, generating 83,100 jobs across the state.

“We are extremely excited to see Kentucky’s tourism industry rebounding and approaching pre-pandemic numbers,” Kentucky Department of Tourism Commissioner Mike Mangeot said. “We still have a long way to go, but these numbers are very optimistic, and it reminds us how strong and essential the tourism industry is to Kentucky.”

According to a study from Tourism Economics, in 2021, travel confidence rebounded from the COVID-19 pandemic in Kentucky, with total visitation recovering to approximately 96% of 2019 volumes. Visitors to Kentucky reached 70.5 million, generating $808 million in state and local taxes, which is a $462 tax savings for every household in Kentucky.

“This upward trend is a positive sign for the future of tourism in the commonwealth,” Secretary Mike Berry said. “The tourism industry took a hard hit during the pandemic… we are witnessing a rapid recovery.”

For more information and to view the full economic impact report, please visit this website.