Celebrate tourism week

Published 10:47 am Thursday, May 10, 2018

National Travel and Tourism Week always makes a grand debut here in the Bluegrass State. 

Beautiful weather, lush greenery, and our state festivals and events motivate tourists and residents alike to participate in the joys of what Kentucky has to offer. The tourism offices are always anxious with excitement for the state to release their annual economic impact report. 

Yet again, the tourism and travel industry continued to surpass the previous year’s growth by 3.8 percent, generating over $15 billion for Kentucky’s economy in 2017. 

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Also, $1.57 billion in tax revenue was generated, resulting in lower tax liabilities for residents. 

The tourism and travel industry is the third largest industry in Kentucky and the largest industry within the world. 

With every $1 used in marketing efforts by the state and local tourism offices, $151 is returned in investment from our visitors. Kentucky’s tourism industry truly is a sleeping giant and a huge revenue generator to each community within the state.

Jessamine County, however, saw a 10 percent decline in tourism revenue from 2016 to 2017.  Nonetheless, total tourism revenue for 2017 did exceed $100 million in our county.

This spending created $1.3 million in local taxes and $9 million in state taxes, thus saving each household in Jessamine County $572 in state and local taxes.

Within the Bluegrass region, Jessamine came in at fifth. This places Jessamine County’s tourism revenue just below that of Fayette, Madison, Scott and Franklin counties, although well above the 10 other counties within our region.    

You may ask, what does this mean for Jessamine County? We have a huge platform to showcase and are the ideal Kentucky destination. Our immaculate horse farms such as Taylor Made, beautiful vineyards, historically significant sites, natural beauty prestigious golf courses and local arts and shops are truly unique emblems of the Bluegrass.

Our great hiking trails and kayaking opportunities along the river only give us extra momentum within the adventure tourism market, not to mention how well we can perform within the motor coach industry which will provide huge economic growth for our area.

The PGA Tour’s Barbasol Tournament will take place this July making Jessamine the second location in Kentucky’s history to host a PGA tournament.The opportunity is now for Jessamine County.

I expect our revenues to grow as we harness our unique tourism opportunities and resources, exceeding numbers in 2016 within the next few seasons. I’m excited to be represent this wonderful community and be a part of this great team.

Mitchell D. Pearson is the new executive director of the Jessamine County Joint Tourism Commission serving both Nicholasville and Wilmore. He can be reached at visitjessamineky@gmail.com.