More than $24 million were spent on Grayson County tourist attractions in 2013, a $1.7 million increase from 2012, according to Kentucky Tourism’s 2013 Economic Impact report.
This figure is part of the overall economic impact of tourism in Kentucky during 2013 - $12.5 billion, a 2.6 percent increase from 2012 - as announced by Governor Steve Beshear and Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Bob Stewart on Tuesday, May 6.
Grayson County Tourism Director Brittany Gary said local tourism expenditures have seen a one to two percent increase each year for the past several years as more and more people visit Grayson County to camp and visit the twin lakes, Rough River Dam State Resort Park and Nolin Lake State Park.
Leitchfield Tourism Director Ilsa Johnson said she feels the increase in spending on local tourism likely also ties into the increase of gasoline prices in recent years. Because gas prices have risen so much, people tend to stay closer to home and spend more money locally.
“Leitchfield and Grayson County has done nothing but go up over the past 10 years,” Johnson said. “I think it will continue to go up.”
In Grayson County - which falls into Kentucky Tourism’s Bourbon, Horses, and History region - the biggest tourism draws are the twin lakes and local restaurants, Johnson said.
The Kentucky Tourism report figures, produced by Certec Inc., of Versailles, are primarily determined by traffic to and from an area. In the report, travel expenditures are divided into two categories: direct expenditures and total expenditures.
According to the report, in Grayson County, direct travel expenditures in 2013 were $15,375,858, and total expenditures were $24,170,849. In 2012, direct travel expenditures in Grayson County were $14,289,831, and total expenditures were $22,463,614.
In addition, the results show that tourism was responsible for the creation of 175,746 jobs in Kentucky in 2013 - an increase of 1,740 jobs from 2012. These jobs generated more than $2.8 billion in wages for Kentucky workers, a nearly $72 million increase from 2012.
According to the report, employment from direct tourism expenditures in the Bourbon, Horses, and History tourism dregopm were 35,592 in 2013 and 34,731 in 2012.
Kentucky tourism also generated $1.3 billion in tax revenues for local and state governments in 2013 - an increase of $1.23 billion in 2012. Seven of the nine tourism regions showed gains for 2013, according to the news release.
To view the entire tourism economic impact study, visit www.kentuckytourism.com/industry and click on “research.”
For more information about Grayson County, Leitchfield, or Kentucky tourism, log on to www.visitgrayson.com, www.visitleitchfield.com, or www.kentuckytourism.com.