Officials: Kentucky Tourism Grew 5% In 2010

There’s another encouraging sign on Kentucky’s economic front. Tourism is up.

Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Marcheta Sparrow says tourism had an $11 billion impact on Kentucky’s economy last year. That’s an almost five-percent increase over the previous year.

The annual survey, conducted by an independent agency, shows tourism responsible for almost 170,000 jobs last year, an almost 2,700 job increase over the previous year. Those jobs generated more than $2.5 billion in wages.

The report says tourism also generated nearly $1.2 billion in tax revenue for local and state governments, up slightly from 2009.

Eight of the state’s nine tourism regions showed visitation gains, with urban areas showing the strongest recovery from the economic downturn of the last few years.

Published by Tony McVeigh

Veteran broadcast journalist Tony McVeigh has been covering Kentucky politics since 1986, reporting for Clear Channel Communications before joining Kentucky Public Radio in 2004. His stories are aired by seven KPR affiliates, whose signals blanket the Commonwealth and parts of surrounding states. McVeigh began his broadcasting career at WRFC in Athens, Georgia, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. He has extensive anchor/reporter experience, including stints with South Carolina Network and Georgia Radio News Service in Atlanta. In 2007 and 2008, McVeigh was named Best Radio Reporter in the Kentucky Associated Press Awards. He also picked up consecutive AP Awards for Best Political Coverage. McVeigh won four Kentucky AP Awards in 2009, six in 2010 - including Best Political Coverage and Best Hard News Feature - and three in 2011. His coverage of the 2007 Kentucky governor's race topped the Political Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards of 2008. In 2009, McVeigh placed second in Courts and Law Reporting in the Atlanta-based competition for journalists in 11 Southern states. McVeigh is also the proud recipient of an Individual Liberty Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Brunswick, Georgia, native is a die-hard UGA football fan who enjoys photography, astronomy, live music, hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge and exploring the state's beautiful back roads. McVeigh and his big, fat, black cat Simon, reside in Frankfort, KY.