meetNKY, NKY River Region to Receive Over $1.9M in Economic Recovery Funding
Governor Andy Beshear joined the Cabinet of Tourism, Arts and Heritage and Members of the General Assembly on Wednesday to announce that 103 tourism and destination marketing organizations in 88 Kentucky counties will receive total funding of 5, $3 million, including NKY meetNKY and NKY River Region.
“Today we celebrate another investment in Kentucky’s future,” Governor Beshear said. “Tourism brings more than 67 million people to our state each year, and that number is expected to grow. Whether it’s spending the afternoon fishing on a Western Kentucky lake, admiring the scenic views of Natural Bridge and the incredible moon arch of Cumberland Falls, or tasting our famous bourbon and the fastest two minutes in sport, you’re going to find some special things to see and do here in the Commonwealth.
The Governor announced that more than $4.6 million will be awarded directly to tourism and destination marketing organizations. Tourism partners from the following organizations joined the Governor in Frankfurt to celebrate the administration’s latest investment in the tourism industry.
• Louisville Tourism $1,368,474
• datingNKY $883,155
• VisitLex $544,959
• Bowling Green Area Convention and Visitors Bureau $164,155
• Paducah Convention and Visitors Bureau $114,446
• Visit Owensboro $90,202
• Elizabethtown Convention and Visitors Bureau $89,364
“The governor and administration are helping to support the post-pandemic tourism recovery,” said Cleo Battle, president and CEO of Louisville Tourism. “This funding will allow us to market and advertise and bring people back to Louisville.”
An additional $678,624 will be allocated directly to the nine Commonwealth tourism regions to support regional marketing and promotion. Previously, the Governor committed $2.8 million in federal funding to support the creation of regional marketing campaigns.
The total economic investment for tourism and destination marketing organizations combined with regional distribution is as follows:
• Bourbon, horses and history $1,727,086
• North Kentucky River $1,024,686
• Bluegrass, horses, bourbon and boone $937,804
• Western Waterlands $376,335
• Caves, lakes and corvettes $347,052
• Bluegrass, Blues and BBQ $251,821
• Kentucky Appalachians 250 $125
• Daniel Boone Country $236,787
• Southern Kentucky vacation $194,554
Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry commended the Governor for his commitment to fostering economic recovery and the growth of the tourism industry.
“Governor. Beshear has delivered on his commitment to Kentucky and continues to make investments that promote economic growth in all Commonwealth communities,” Secretary Berry said. “I commend the Governor for his understanding of the economic impact that tourism brings to Kentucky and its desire to ensure that tourism remains an economic engine in the future.”
Grants are based on the counties’ respective share in the 2019 Economic Impact Report. For the complete list of funding recipients, visit tah.ky.gov.
Tourism is an $8.9 billion industry that supports economic growth in rural and urban communities in Kentucky. Throughout the pandemic, the Commonwealth has invested more than $13 million in the tourism industry to bolster promotional and advertising efforts and encourage safe travel to Kentucky through the development of new branding campaigns. .
The Governor’s recent budget proposal allocates $200 million in one-time funding for Kentucky state parks. The funding would support essential preservation, maintenance, repair and new projects at Commonwealth state parks.
The governor’s budget also earmarks $10 million in funding for the American Rescue Plan Act to boost Kentucky’s tourism industry through a targeted marketing campaign and an additional $10 million to help nonprofit arts organizations.