KY UNBRIDLED 300OWENSBORO, Ky. (5/6/13) - In keeping with a statewide trend, the annual survey of tourism spending in Kentucky shows an increase in Owensboro and Daviess County in 2012. All nine of the state’s tourism regions registered gains for 2012 compared with 2011.

The Bluegrass, Blues and Barbecue region ( the nine county tourism region) showed a 4.4% increase in direct expenditures. Daviess County’s total increased from $258,563,700 in 2011 total expenditures to $268,647,684 in 2012 total expenditures.

“The dollars spent by visitors have strengthened Owensboro and Daviess County’s economy by creating jobs, supporting local businesses from gas stations to retail stores and generating tax revenues to support our community,” Karen M. Porter, Executive Director said.

Tourism is one of Kentucky’s top industries, with an annual economic impact in 2012 of more than $12.2 billion, an increase of 4.4 percent from 2011.

The annual survey also showed that tourism was responsible for 174,006 jobs in Kentucky in 2012, an increase of 4,078 jobs from the previous year. These jobs generated more than $2.7 billion in wages for Kentucky workers, an increase of $117 million from 2011.

Tourism generated $1.227 billion in tax revenues for local and state governments in 2012, an increase from $1.223 billion in 2011.

“The Kentucky tourism industry continues to do well, which is good news for all of us,” Gov. Steve Beshear said. “These figures illustrate the importance of tourism in Kentucky as well as in communities big and small across the Commonwealth.”

The release of the figures coincides with National Travel and Tourism Week, celebrated May 4-12 this year.

“This is great news for our tourism industry in Kentucky and follows the announcement earlier this year that the water level at Lake Cumberland is going up – which should help tourism in that region,” said Marcheta Sparrow, Tourism, Arts & Heritage Secretary. “We want to build on these successes and keep adding more attractions and jobs for Kentuckians.”

The survey was produced for the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet by Certec Inc. of Versailles. More details about the tourism economic impact study are available at

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