Kentucky tourism gets $5 million in CARES funding


FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Gov. Andy Beshear announced on Wednesday the state has committed $5 million in federal CARES Act funding to help boost the state’s tourism industry by encouraging safe travel to all 120 Kentucky counties.

With most travel restrictions lifted within the United States, state officials are priming the tourism industry for growth by developing marketing efforts to reach multicultural, national and international audiences. The diverse marketing efforts will focus on leisure travel as well as attracting meetings and sporting events to Kentucky.

“To be a leader in the post-COVID economy, we must invest in our tourism industry,” said Gov. Beshear.  “To Kentucky families, visitors and businesses thinking about their next trip or meeting, know that Kentucky is open, our economy is setting all-time-high records and we are committed to safe travel.  Start planning your trip now.”

Kentucky tourism is an $11.8 billion industry, according to state officials, and serves as a mechanism for generating revenue in every county.

“This critical funding support is a significant step for our industry, and reinforces the Governor’s commitment for ensuring the tourism industry is part of the solution for building a better, stronger Kentucky for the future,” said Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry.

In addition to the federal CARES Act funding, which was approved by Congress last year, the U.S. Department of the Treasury also announced this week that Kentucky will receive $2.183 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 for the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund.  The allotment is smaller than an earlier estimate because of the state’s positive economic performance.

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