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The annual survey of tourism spending in Kentucky shows significant loss in visitation growth due to the pandemic.

Total spending by visitors in Warren County in 2020 was $307.7 million, a 22.3% decrease from $395.79 million in 2019. Total labor income for the industry in Warren County in 2020 was $87.1 million, a 15.3% decrease from $102.83 million in 2019. Visitors to the county generated $23.20 million in state and local taxes in 2020 a 23.5% decrease from $30.33 million in 2019.

“After years and years of tremendous growth for our industry, 2020 is very devasting for all of us,” said Sherry Murphy, Executive Director of the Bowling Green Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We are very hopeful as we experienced strong summer travel. Our future is not certain but the pent-up demand for travel is. We have dedicated employees in our local travel industry and we are so grateful for their hard work and resiliency through a very tough year.”

In review of Kentucky’s numbers as a whole, the overall economic impact of the tourism industry went from $11.8 billion in 2019, generating more than 95,800 jobs to $8.9 billion in 2020, generating 75,655 jobs. Even with the decline, visitors still generated $625 million in state and local taxes, which is a $360 tax savings for every household in Kentucky.

The survey was produced for the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet by Tourism Economics, the Kentucky Department of Tourism’s research partner. A full report of tourism economic impact study is available at https://www.kentuckytourism.com/industry/2020-economic-impact-of-travel. For more about Kentucky tourism, please visit www.kentuckytourism.com.

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