Whitesburg KY

Letcher County sees rise in tourism revenue for 2007

Senator Johnny Ray Turner, DDrift, says tourism in Letcher County increased 6.1% percent in 2007 and added $15,526,692 to the county’s economy. The statistics were released by the Kentucky Department of Travel and based on an annual report compiled by the Travel Industry Association (TIA) in Washington D.C.

Letcher County’s numbers are a part of an overall 6.5% percent statewide increase in tourism in 2007, which added $10.7 billion to the state’s economy.

“We know that travel and tourism are an essential part of Kentucky’s economy,” said Mike Cooper, commissioner for the department. “Money spent on tourism throughout the Commonwealth circulates several times into the economy benefiting Kentucky communities through direct travel and in the service and retail sectors.”

“Attracting tourists to our community is an on-going process and local leaders have worked diligently to increase the number of visitors to the area,” said Senator Turner. “This report is good news for the area and an indication that our efforts are paying off and, thanks to continued strong local leadership, we are looking forward to even more growth in the future.”

The report shows that more than 176,600 people are employed statewide in the industry earning more than $3.4 billion in payroll. In Letcher County, over 180 people are employed in the tourism industry and account for $4.7 million in payroll. Nearly $7.25 billion was spent directly by domestic travelers in Kentucky in 2007. Combined with indirect spending, the complete value of the tourism industry in the state totals $10.72 billion. These amounts generate just over $1 billion in local, state and federal taxes.

Turner has served in the State Senate since 2001. He represents the 29th District, which includes Breathitt, Floyd, Knott and Letcher counties.

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