Tourism dollars for Jessamine County down in 2022

Published 11:34 am Thursday, August 17, 2023

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Gov. Andy Beshear released data on the economic impact of tourism in Kentucky for 2022 last week. $12.9 billion in economic impact and 91,668 jobs were generated through tourism in 2022, making it the best year on record for Kentucky tourism.

$8.9 billion of Kentucky’s total tourism revenue is directly from visitor spending, meaning that in 2022, visitors spent $24 million every day in Kentucky.

In the heart of the Bluegrass region, Jessamine County has also seen the fruits of the tourism board’s labors. The county has had a slightly smaller economic impact in 2022 than before COVID-19 in 2017.

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In 2017, Jessamine County had over 100 million in total tourism revenue. This year, tourism in the county has generated 488 jobs, $17.43 million in labor income, $5.7 million in local and state taxes, and $79.46 million in visitor spending.

But, this is a $20 million decrease from pre-pandemic tourism.

Considering it has only been three years since the largest health event in the century, a $20 million decrease in tourism revenue from pre-pandemic revenue isn’t surprising.

Still, Charla Reed, the executive director of Visit Jessamine, has hope for the county’s future tourism prospects.

“Tourism suffered due to the pandemic, and the entire state was affected.  In 2022, tourism in Kentucky came back stronger than ever due to the collective commitment from our local, county and state communities, and we celebrate this achievement. Jessamine County added a new hotel this past year, new restaurants and many new events, and it is continuing to grow by leaps and bounds. The American Rescue Plan investment has helped revitalize our local tourism efforts and help promote the assets within our communities. Tourism in Jessamine County is working to expand exposure to all our local attractions now and into the future,” Reed said.