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State offers tourism business $75 million enhance

Printed 12:00 pm Friday, September 30, 2022

State Senate Majority Flooring Chief Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, was joined by fellow lawmakers Thursday on the entrance steps of the State Capitol for a ceremonial presentation of $75 million to representatives of Kentucky’s tourism and journey business.

The cash, which Thayer satisfied his colleagues to incorporate on this yr’s state finances, is designed to assist with advertising the tourism business, historically certainly one of Kentucky’s largest sectors, because it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What we did throughout this legislative session impacts each nook of this state,” Thayer mentioned, noting that tourism took a giant hit through the pandemic. “In the course of the 2021 interim, the Kentucky Division of Tourism supplied lawmakers with an replace on tourism’s financial influence on Kentucky. We discovered that our $12 billion tourism business took a 26% hit, consequently, falling under $9 billion.”

He famous the motion got here after tourism officers identified they had been eligible for federal ARPA funds, so he fought to have it included within the state’s two-year spending plan. “Our message to the tourism business from the Kentucky Normal Meeting is, assistance is on its means.”

Hank Phillips with the Kentucky Journey Affiliation mentioned the cash will likely be utilized in a wide range of methods. “A portion will likely be unfold throughout the state, allotted to our native tourism commissions. They’re the bottom troops in selling and advertising the multitude of causes folks ought to come to Kentucky.”

He mentioned one other portion will likely be spent to market Kentucky as an entire. “That’s the accountability of the Kentucky Division of Tourism, a mission that’s fantastically carried out by them.”

Half will go to assist to revitalize the conferences, conferences, and conference sector. “That is the toughest hit a part of our hard-hit business,” Phillips mentioned.

Some will likely be used for what he referred to as, “Collaborative, multi-destination advertising initiatives.”

Phillips added, “Early within the course of, Gov. Andy Beshear organized for roughly $13 million to be supplied to the tourism business. When Sen. Thayer and his colleagues got here ahead with the $75 million package deal, the Governor endorsed it.”