A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Hank Phillips: State riding a big tourism wave, creating major economic impact across the state

Kentucky is riding a tourism wave that promises to grow, adding to its already impressive contributions to the state’s economy. Tourism-related businesses and convention bureaus across the Commonwealth work tirelessly to cement Kentucky’s name in the tourism industry. And the results speak for themselves. The success of Kentucky Tourism Commissioner Kristen Branscum and other tourism and culinary...

Local storytellers lead visitors through Kentucky Tourism’s 2019 Official Visitor’s Guide

The Kentucky Department of Tourism has announced the release of the 2019 Official Kentucky Visitor’s Guide and the Year of Kentucky Storytellers. The guide features travel tips and stories, narrated by Kentuckians, who share their love for the Bluegrass State through their own personal experiences. In addition to regional highlights, the visitor’s guide focuses on the main pillars of Kentucky tourism:...

From ballgames to concerts, communities gearing up for once-in-a-lifetime Great American Eclipse

With a little less than two weeks left, much of Western Kentucky is gearing up to become the epicenter of the 2017 total solar eclipse. Hopkinsville, in Christian County, will be the point of “greatest eclipse” with 2 minutes and 40 seconds of totality on Aug. 21 at 1:24 p.m. CDT. In addition to Hopkinsville, 15 other cities are in the path of totality and offer wonderful viewing opportunities....

Economic impact of state’s outdoor recreation soars to $12.8 billion, supports 120,000 jobs

The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) has announced that the economic impact of outdoor recreation in Kentucky totaled $12.8 billion last year, up from $8.4 billion in 2012. This is the first national economic impact study since 2012.  The report indicates that Kentucky directly supports 120,000 jobs and annually generates $12.8 billion in consumer spending and $756 million in state and local tax...

Bourbon Country Burn: New cycling event highlights Kentucky’s Bourbon distilleries from a bike

A brand new cycling event, Bourbon Country Burn, brings together some of central Kentucky’s most iconic tourism destinations. The event is a three-day fully supported cycling event headquartered at the Kentucky Horse Park Sept. 29 – Oct. 1, 2017. Daily distance options range from 20 miles to 100 miles, and will stop at six different bourbon distilleries throughout the event. Riders will also...

Happy Birthday Kentucky: Many events planned throughout the Commonwealth to mark 225th

The Kentucky Department of Tourism, among others throughout the state, will celebrate Kentucky’s 225th anniversary of statehood on June 1. Additional events will honor the Commonwealth during the course of the year. The Bluegrass State was admitted to the Union 225 years ago in June of 1792 and became the fifteenth state in the United States of America. Through the years, the innovation, creativity...

The Sands of Time: Sculpture at Kentucky Artisan Center celebrates state’s 225th anniversary

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea celebrates Kentucky’s 225th anniversary, with the creation of an original sand sculpture by Internationally known artist Damon Farmer, bringing Kentucky history to life in sand. Directly in front of the Center on a circle of pavement, Farmer will sculpt 10 tons of compacted wet sand over three days, into a montage of portraits and scenes from Kentucky’s rich...

Summer Countdown: Kentucky Tourism Department has suggestions for your upcoming vacation

The Kentucky Department of Tourism announced the launch of 99 Days of Summer, an interactive section of the kentuckytourism.com website with 99 travel suggestions for the 2017 summer season, starting Memorial Day, May 29 and lasting through Labor Day weekend, Sept. 4. “There are so many great things to do in Kentucky that it can sometimes be overwhelming to make those summer travel plans,” Tourism...

Kentucky tourism industry generated $14.5 billion in 2016; impact increase in all nine regions

The economic impact of tourism in Kentucky was more than $14.5 billion in 2016, the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and the Department of Tourism announced Monday. Kentucky’s tourism industry experienced the strongest overall economic impact growth rate since 2005. All nine of the state’s tourism regions registered gains again in 2016. “On the heels of the recent momentous success...

Kentucky Tourism Department launches special website highlighting state’s 225th anniversary

The Kentucky Department of Tourism has announced the launch of www.ky225.com, a website dedicated to the celebration of Kentucky’s 225 years of statehood in 2017. The website includes an interactive map of bucket list ideas to experience across the state, as well as list of events and information on Kentucky’s statehood. Examples include visiting the oldest country store in America, sampling BBQ,...

Kentucky Visitor’s Guide for 2017 features state map with path of Great American Solar Eclipse

The Kentucky Department of Tourism has announced the release of the 2017 Official Kentucky Visitor’s Guide. The guide features a state map with the path of the upcoming Great American Solar Eclipse highlighted. The 146-page guide has comprehensive information about attractions, lodging, dining, shopping, and entertainment and recreation options in nine regions for visitors to the Bluegrass State. “The...

State Tourism Department launches new travel webpage to promote 2017 Great American Eclipse

With one year left before much of western Kentucky becomes the epicenter of the Aug. 21, 2017 total solar eclipse, the Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism has created a webpage to enhance the visitor experience and inform guests what to expect during this astronomical phenomenon, www.kentuckytourism.com/eclipse/. This page provides direct links to tourism offices in communities that feature...

New 99 Days of Summer interactive website offers fun ideas for traveling in Kentucky

The Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism has launched “99 Days of Summer,” an interactive section of the www.kentuckytourism.com website with travel suggestions for the 2016 summer season, starting May 30 and lasting through Labor Day weekend. The 99 Days of Summer website is an interactive calendar with pictures, events and further information to help plan your Kentucky summer travel....

Kentucky Tourism industry sees strongest overall economic impact growth since 2005

Cabinet of Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Don Parkinson said Wednesday that Kentucky’s tourism industry has experienced the strongest overall economic impact growth rate the state has seen since 2005. Kentucky’s tourism industry generated $13.7 billion in economic impact during 2015, an increase of five percent over the previous year. The industry supported more than 186,000 jobs, including...

Agriculture marketing director Branscum takes over as commissioner of Travel and Tourism Department

The new commissioner of the Department of Travel and Tourism is Kristen Branscum, Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Don Parkinson announced Wednesday. Branscum, a native of Russell Springs, most recently served as the head of marketing for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture since 2012. “Kristen Branscum’s extensive marketing experience and knowledge of Kentucky will be a great benefit for...

New documentary provides ‘rare glimpse’
of Kentucky’s modern grape, wine industry

  Kentucky wineries – and the dedicated people who run them – are the subject of a new documentary that will debut on public television.   Unbridled Vines: Kentucky’s Finest will air on KETKY Dec. 27 at 10 a.m. and on KET Dec. 28 at 3:30 p.m. The program will be rebroadcast at other times on KET and KETKY through February.   “This documentary provides a rare glimpse into the...