$75 million allocated to boost Kentucky’s Tourism Industry

Kentucky legislators earmarked $75 million for the tourism industry in the 2022 legislative session to help bring visitors back to the commonwealth. The money is from the American Rescue Plan Act’s (ARPA) Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program.

Kentucky’s $8.9 billion tourism industry has had fewer visitors since the pandemic began. Gov. Andy Beshear and Kentucky Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry announced on Monday that organizations can now apply for the funding.

“Both the governor and the General Assembly have been supportive of our efforts, and as a result of their bipartisan commitment, we are positioning Kentucky to lead the tourism and hospitality industries nationally,” Berry said.

The $75 million in ARPA funding will be distributed in four pools by the Kentucky Department of Tourism. Eligible tourism and destination marketing organizations that apply must demonstrate the effects of COVID on their operation.

The four distribution pools include:

  • Pool one: $15 million will be used for statewide tourism marketing efforts.
  • Pool two: $25 million will be used in a grant program for tourism commissions to market their communities.
  • Pool three: $25 million will be used to attract meetings and conventions.
  • Pool four: $10 million will be used for multicounty collaborative destination marketing.

The commonwealth has invested more than $13 million in the tourism industry throughout the pandemic to strengthen promotional and advertising efforts and to encourage safe travel to Kentucky through new marketing campaigns.

Organizations can apply for funding here.