The Kentucky Cabinet for Tourism, Arts and Heritage released a study showing the state has seen its largest overall gain in tourism dollars since 2009.

Lake Barkley State Resort Park, via Facebook

Tourism in Kentucky's 'Western Waterlands' is on the rise. The annual Kentucky Tourism Economic Impact report released Tuesday shows a revenue gain in direct expenditures in every county in far western Kentucky, with the largest percentage gains in Todd and Hickman counties.

Hopkinsville Parks & Recreation

Hopkinsville city officials are rebranding the annual Little River Days Festival and moving it from May to August.

Now known as the Summer Salute Festival, the event’s move to the end of summer aligns with 2017’s total solar eclipse, expected to draw thousands of tourists to the prime viewing location in Hopkinsville.

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

"The Home of Superman," an ancient Native American city, a casino on the river, the birthplace of an African American film pioneer. These are just some of the unique things that drive tourism to Metropolis, Illinois. The Greater Metropolis Convention & Visitor's Bureau has a new director, returning to the position she initially helped create. On Sounds Good, Matt Markgraf speaks with director Trish Steckenrider about how the organization has grown, initiatives coming next year and some lesser known aspects of tourism in the community.

Lake Barkley Tourist Commission / Facebook

  The Lake Barkley Tourist Commission is reshuffling its budget after the Kuttawa City Council voted to leave the commission earlier this year.

Tourism director Debi Dodd says Kuttawa represented about a third of the commission’s $400,000 budget. She says the commission will now work with $260,000 collected through Lyon County’s transient room tax and the city of Eddyville’s restaurant tax.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Governor Steve Beshear and his wife, Jane, will head to England this week. Beshear says the United Kingdom sends the most overseas travelers to the Commonwealth.

”This is not about economic development in terms of bringing new companies to Kentucky. But, it is economic development in terms of bringing tourists to Kentucky because as more folks come, they spend their money right here in Kentucky,” said Beshear.

The new Kentucky Creative Industry Report is being hailed as a barometer of the economic impact of the arts industry.  


The study defines creative employment as positions in visual arts, crafts, music, dance, theater, and literature.  Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Bob Stewart said the report is a critical analysis of the arts and various sectors of the economy.

Kentucky’s tourism industry is seen as a money making business in many communities across the Commonwealth. But, money to invite travelers to Kentucky still lags behind neighboring states.

Kate Lochte visit with Dawson Springs Mayor Jenny Sewell on Sounds Good to learn more about the road, mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding and blueway trails earning the community the Kentucky Trail Town designation. Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear designated Dawson Springs as the state's first "Trail Town" as part of an effort to promote and develop adventure tourism opportunities across the Commonwealth. The city is developing several outdoor attractions including Pennyrile State Resort Park and State Forest, Tradewater River and Wildlife Management Area, and the Jones-Keeney Wildlife Management Area. Read more the about designation on Kentucky Tourism's website

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

President Barack Obama signed the Freedom to Fish Act into law today, placing a two-year moratorium on restricting fishing access to the tailwaters of dams on the Cumberland River.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wanted to install signage and a line of buoys separating fishermen from what they characterize hazardous waters. Legislators like Sen. Mitch McConnell felt that the economic impact on tourism outweighed any potential dangers.