Tourist Spending in Henderson County & Economic Impact

With the Baby Boomer Generation heading towards retirement, and with the Millennial Generation waiting to settle down later in life, travel and tourist spending is reaching the highest numbers it’s seen in the past ten years, and is expected to grow. So what does that mean for Kentucky? And more importantly, how does Henderson County benefit from increasing tourist spending?

If you like numbers, you’ll love this…

The tourism and travel industry contributed over $13.7 billion to Kentucky’s economy in 2015. Direct tourist spending in Henderson increased by 5.3% from 2014 and 2015, which is slightly higher than the 5.2% average for the Bluegrass, Blues, and Barbecue region – which Henderson is a part of. Tourist activity in Henderson County supported 1,271 jobs in 2015. The wonderful thing about the tourism industry these sustained jobs cannot be exported! There is no cap for expanding tourism and travel opportunities, and unlike other natural resources, tourism is a resource that will never run out. People will always be dining, traveling, visiting attractions, planning vacations, business development conferences, sports tournaments, weekend getaway, faith-based retreats… you name it… Tourism has a role to play in a variety of industries.

So where are all the fanny pack wearing tourists?…

And where are they coming from? More often than you think, tourists are from neighboring counties. Technically, a tourist can be classified as a person that travels over 50 miles to a destination. Ever made a trip from Morganfield to Owensboro? Or maybe even a weekend trip to the south west Kentucky Lakes? Then guess what, you’re a tourist! Even though one may not always rent a hotel room when traveling just 50 miles, it is very likely that a person may stop for a meal or search for things to do in an area, which means more dollars spent at a destination’s restaurants and attractions, contributing to the overall direct expenditures.

A reason to love tourism…

Even if you aren’t much of a traveler, here’s a reason why you should still love tourism. In 2015, tourist and travel spending provided tax relief for each of the 18,875 households in Henderson County. In other words, if tourism did not exist, each household in Henderson County would have paid $520 more in state and local taxes to replace the taxes generated by tourist spending. Over the past five years alone, Henderson has seen a $10 million dollar increase in tourist spending – proof that Henderson is a desirable destination for travelers and tourists.

Why hospitality is our nature…

By nature the Henderson County Tourist Commission is a marketing organization. We put the best of the best foot forward to not only inform and attract travelers and loyal life-long visitors, but also people searching to invest in a great quality of life, which includes our residents, area locals, and people like you! If you would like to learn more about current events and what Henderson has to offer, sign up for our e-newsletter at this link so you can be an informed ambassador for Henderson County.