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2023 announced as Kentucky’s best year for tourism, breaking previous records

Kentucky Governor's Office

Tourism in the state of Kentucky continues to set records for economic impact. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear recently announced 2023 to be the best year in Kentucky Tourism, breaking the record set by 2022.

Officials reported tourism in the state generated $13.8 billion and sustained nearly 100,000 jobs. Governor Beshear said developing the state as a tourist destination takes the combined efforts of tourism professionals.

“It takes hard work and a love for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. When you look at what we’re doing, we’re not looking at the same Kentucky anymore,” said Beshear. “Thanks to the work of everyone here we’re welcoming people to our new Kentucky home. One filled with opportunity and prosperity. Where we want you to come see what we have to offer.”

Officials added that out-of-state tourists spent $9.7 billion that remained in Kentucky communities. Hank Phillips is the President and CEO of the Kentucky Travel Industry Association. He said tourism helps the region’s residents.

“When tourism succeeds, Kentuckians benefit. We benefit from the economic development that tourism provides, the jobs that it creates, and the services that families receive,” said Phillips.

Beshear provided the update from the Castle and Key distillery, one of 46 distilleries that make up the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Beshear said the bourbon industry has been one of the pillars of tourism for the state, bringing in over two million visitors each year.