A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Northern Kentucky tourism revenue grew by 7.3 percent in 2016, one of the state’s highest increases

The economic impact of tourism has grown to more than $14.5 billion in 2016, Department of Tourism Commissioner Kristen Branscum announced during the celebration of Travel and Tourism Week.

Kentucky’s tourism industry has experienced the strongest overall economic impact growth rate the state has seen since 2005.  All nine of the state’s tourism regions registered gains again in 2016.

The Northern Kentucky River Region posted one of the highest increases, growing revenues from tourism by 7.3 percent. Direct expenditures by tourists in the Northern Kentucky area of Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties, have grown to $1.83 billion.

The industry continues to expand with the new hotel development in the region, including the Hotel Covington opening in September, as well as new visitor attractions such as the Ark Encounter, in July of last year.

“Spending by visitors has strengthened Northern Kentucky’s economy by creating jobs, supporting local businesses from restaurants to lodging and generating tax revenues to support our community,” Eric Summe, President and CEO of meetNKY |Northern Kentucky CVB said.


The robust visitor economy is a large job creator in the region. More than 13,000 jobs in Northern Kentucky are supported by the visitor industry. This number continues to grow each year, highlighting the overall growth of the tourism industry in the region.

“A vibrant tourism industry, means a vibrant Kentucky,” Branscum said. “The natural beauty of our state provides unlimited opportunities for visitors to experience recreation or leisure activities around every corner. The economic impact numbers for 2016 reinforce the fact that the tourism industry is a vital economic driver for Kentucky.”

The Kentucky Department of Tourism continues to build upon Kentucky’s signature tourism industries of horses, bourbon, music, arts, outdoors and culinary to reach new audiences and present Kentucky as a top-level destination for visitors internationally and domestically.

To learn more about Kentucky tourism, click here .

The $14.5 billion in economic impact Kentucky’s tourism industry generated during 2016, is increase of more than five percent, from $13.7 billion in 2015. The industry supported nearly 193,000 jobs and generated more than $1.5 billion in tax revenue, with $195.1 million going directly to local communities.

The full tourism economic impact study is available at http://bit.ly/2qEcNKU.

The mission of meetNKY is to serve as an aggressive destination sales, marketing, and service organization whose primary responsibility is to positively impact the Northern Kentucky economy through conventions, meetings, and visitor expenditures. For more information, click here .

meetNKY |Northern Kentucky CVB

Related Posts

Leave a Comment