FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky tourism officials say more people visited the state in 2018 and spent more money.
Officials say visitor trips to and within the state topped 71.6 million last year and visitor spending rose to nearly $7.6 billion, up nearly 4% over the prior year and a 21% increase since 2013.
The figures are the result of a study from Tourism Economics, the state Department of Tourism's new research partner.
Using the Tourism Economics model, officials say the tourism industry's economic impact in Kentucky went from $10.9 billion in 2017 to $11.2 billion in 2018, generating more than 94,500 jobs and $787 million in state and local taxes.
The tourism department says it continues to build on Kentucky's signature tourism industries of horses, bourbon, music, arts, outdoors and culinary to reach new audiences.