Legislators Celebrate $75M in Tourism Funding

Kentucky’s tourism industry received a $75 million boost Thursday to help cities across the commonwealth recover from losses suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic. The General Assembly allocated the funding from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery (SLFRF) program of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) during the 2022 legislative session.

Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) and other legislators presented a ceremonial check that Kentucky Travel Industry Association President and CEO Hank Phillips called the result of vocal and influential leadership recognizing the need to help market Kentucky’s conferences and conventions to draw more visitors to the commonwealth.

“I’m delighted to be among friends, colleagues, and those who go to bat daily for Kentucky’s rich tourism industry,” Thayer said. “I love this state and all the incredible aspects that make it unique. That is why I moved here 30 years ago. Kentucky has all I ever dreamed of.”

Kentucky’s tourism industry generated approximately $12 billion before the pandemic. That number suffered a 26% decline and fell below $9 billion amid COVID restrictions.