Kentucky’s mission is to make visitors curious about the destination outside of big-ticket events like the Kentucky Derby in order to build brand awareness and attract visitors from outside of the region year-round.
The state is reporting that the economic impact of the tourism industry in Kentucky reached $12.2 billion in 2012.
Tourism Secretary Marcheta Sparrow said that was a 4.4 percent increase over 2011.
Sparrow said she expects continued growth in the tourism industry, which was responsible for more than 174,000 jobs last year, up more than 4,000 over the previous year.
Those jobs created $2.7 billion in wages, an increase of $117 million over the previous year.
Sparrow also said tourism generated more than $1.2 billion in tax revenue for local and state governments last year.
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Photo credit: Visitors cheer on the horses and jockeys at the Kentucky Derby. Ryan Bjorkquist / Flickr