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'Help is on its way': Kentucky grants $75 million to state's tourism industry

Officials said, before the pandemic, Kentucky's tourism industry generated approximately $12 billion but fell below $9 billion amid COVID-19 restrictions.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky's state legislature presented $75 million to the state's tourism industry

Senate Damon Thayer met with general assembly members on Thursday in Frankfort to present the ceremonial check. 

"Our message to the tourism industry from the Kentucky General Assembly is help is on its way. Help is on its way," Thayer said.

In light of the negative impacts of COVID-19 and government restrictions affecting Kentucky's tourism industry, Thayer said he was compelled to take action to ensure the industry was well-equipped to recover and grow. 

"Recall the early spring of 2020 when the pandemic forever changed our lives," Thayer said. "Our tourism industry was pushed aside, abandoned and all but forgotten by Governor Beshear, resulting in a loss of $3 billion to business owners and workers' livelihood that puts food on the table for their families and children."

Officials said Kentucky's tourism industry generated approximately $12 billion before the pandemic, but fell below $9 billion amid COVID-19 restrictions.

"I remember the moment when tourism in Kentucky went away," Hank Phillips, Kentucky Travel Industry Association President and CEO, said. "The early vocal and influential leadership recognized we needed help market Kentucky's conferences and conventions, drawing more visitors to the commonwealth."

The multi-million dollar fund will hopefully revitalize and reinvest into the tourist attractions throughout the state. 


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