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Tourism spending increased in Boyle County, statewide in 2016

Tourist spending increased by 7.1 percent in Boyle County from 2015 to 2016, according to numbers released this week from the Kentucky Department of Tourism.

“It has been another exciting and record-breaking year for tourism,” said Jennifer Kirchner, director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Our festivals continue to have record attendance, our distillery is ever-growing, arts offerings are diverse and vast, and we are continually working on expanding our outdoor and agritourism offerings with the development of trails and parks.

“This is success for all of us in the community. We are all part of making this county grow, thrive and worth visiting. We also saw the opening of a new hotel this year, Holiday Inn Express, which is a welcomed addition to our offerings.”

Other 2016 numbers:

• generated $56,850,146 in direct tourist spending;

• generated $89,368,430 in total tourist spending;

• produced $20,044,090 in worker income;

• created $1,203,582 in local tax revenues;

• created $8,152,731 in state tax revenue; and

• supported 837 jobs.

On average, Kirchner said, visitors to Boyle County spent $155.75 a day.

“The dramatic increase in tourism revenues for Danville-Boyle County is wonderful. This outside revenue brought into to our community creates jobs that can not be exported. The visitors to our community bring exciting ideas and perspectives that remind us why we love this place as our home,” said Mark Morgan, CVB Board chairman. 

Kirchner said the CVB is continually planning for the future in a “bold” way, which is part of the new branding plan — “Danville, Kentucky: Historically Bold.”

“In combination with the growing tourism revenue and our new branding effort, we are busy planning our next fiscal year and the exciting ways we can enhance Danville-Boyle County while continuing to live up to our identity of being historically bold,” Kirchner said.

Commissioner of Travel Kristen Branscum presented the numbers and those from the state level at the Tourism Celebration and Branding event on Tuesday.

Statewide, $14.5 billion in economic impact was generated in 2016, up five percent from $13.7 in 2015. Nearly 193,000 jobs were supported through the industry, and more than $1.5 billion in tax revenue was generated.

Tourism is Kentucky’s third largest revenue-generating income for the state. Branscum said she believed the numbers, while solid, were actually under-representing the number of visitors and dollars generated by tourists.

Branscum said Boyle County did a “fantastic job” in the 2016 year.

“I think Kentucky is a hidden gem. Our goal is for it not be hidden,” she said.

Branscum also congratulated Kirchner and others on the release of a new branding campaign.

“It is to be commended,” Branscum said. “Most people can’t decide what chips they want with lunch.”