The Kentucky Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet released the results today of the examination of the Economic Impact of Tourism for 2011.
The economic impact figures are calculated through a detailed examination of direct expenditures by tourists, tourism-related employment and tax impacts generated by Kentucky’s tourism and travel industry.
According to the study, the tourism and travel industry contributed nearly $11.7 billion to Kentucky’s economy in 2011. Direct expenditures by tourists accounted for $7.4 billion of this total–an increase of 3% since 2010.
McCracken County showed an increase of more than 2.7% in 2011 and added $299,462,053 to the County's economy. Tourism expenditures increased nearly $5,200,000 from 2010 to 2011.
McCracken County is part of Kentucky’s Western Waterland region, which showed an increase of 4.1% and $472 million in direct expenditures for 2011. McCracken County accounted for 40% of the 2011 Total Expenditures of Kentucky’s Western Waterland, the highest dollar increase in the 15 county region.
Paducah McCracken County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Mary Hammond attributed the increase to Paducah’s award-winning year. Paducah was named one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations (DDD) and voted the Fan Favorite of the twelve by the public in 2011. “The National Trust for Historic Preservation provided incredible exposure to Paducah’s authentic visitor experience and brought first-time tourists and new money to the area,” said Hammond. In addition to the DDD award, City of Paducah, Chamber of Commerce and West Kentucky Community & Technical College received national recognition and honors. “Business and leisure travel continued to balance one another throughout the year,” said Hammond.
The indirect and inducted expenditure resulting from the initial infusion of money into the Kentucky economy were calculated using the RIMS II input-output (I-O) model developed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis.