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Adair County 2010 Tourism Industry neared $10 million

Future years expected to jump when new hotel at Holladay Place is built, an essential element to attracting travel busses to Columbia, Tourism Director Sue Stivers says.

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The total impact of tourism in Adair County neared $10 million in 2010, according to figures released by Governor Steve Beshear and Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Marcheta Sparrow in Frankfort on Thursday, May 12, 2011.

That figure placed Adair County third in the seven-county CM area. While improving, the county's tourism industry lags far behind neighboring Russell County, the area leader, and Taylor County, number two.2010 Total Travel Related Expenditures
7-County CM area

  1. Russell County, $43,969,170
  2. Taylor County, $43,091,963
  3. Adair County, $9,930,753
  4. Cumberland County, $7,617,914
  5. Casey County, $6,452,118
  6. Metcalfe County, 3,976,352
  7. Green County, 3,850,865

Sue Stivers, executive director of the Columbia-Adair County Tourism Commission, in her report to the Columbia-Adair County Economic Development Authority on Wednesday, May 12, 2011, told the members present that the significance of tourism can no longer be overlooked. "We have to think of tourism as economic development," she said.

Stivers told the authority that the biggest boost will come when everything is in place, including more hotel rooms. When the hotel at Holladay Place is completed, the tourism commission will be able to get overnight travel busses to come to Columbia. At a recent seminar she learned that a single overnight stop and day visit by a tour bus can generate as much as $10,000 in sales.

"We can already offer information for the major attractions," she said, "but more hotel rooms are the major obstacle we face at this time."

Stivers told the CACEDA that it is her understanding that only coordination of architectural plans between the hotel chain and the local investors is the holdup at this time. "I understand that the architect did not include a conference room, and that was a stipulation the investors and Lindsey Wilson College had agreed was essential for the college."

The economic impact of tourism for the State of Kentucky, the economic impact figure was a 4.8 percent increase from 2009.

"Thanks to events like the World Equestrian Games and the many other excellent tourism attractions we have in Kentucky, our state is benefitting with jobs, wages and tax revenue," Gov. Beshear said. "This study is encouraging and shows how important the tourism industry is to our communities and the entire state."

The release of the figures coincides with National Travel and Tourism Week, celebrated May 7-14 this year. "Kentucky's central location and the variety of attractions continue to help us weather the economic downturn," said Sparrow, who made the announcement at the Kentucky Tourism Industry Association Tourism Development Symposium in Cave City today. "Tourism provides jobs for Kentuckians and supports a variety of businesses across the state."

The annual survey also showed that tourism was responsible for 169,258 jobs in Kentucky in 2010 - an increase of 2,657 from the previous year. These jobs generated more than $2.5 billion in wages for Kentucky workers, an increase of $118 million from the previous year. Tourism generated $1.188 billion in tax revenues for local and state governments in 2010, an increase from $1.133 billion in 2009. Eight of the nine tourism regions showed gains for 2010. Urban areas of the state showed strong recovery from the economic downtown of the last few years.

Travel and Tourism Commissioner Mike Cooper, whose agency oversees travel marketing for Kentucky, said he was pleased with the economic impact figures. "Tourism is important to Kentucky and this report illustrates why," Cooper said. "This is good news for our industry as we begin the summer travel season."

The report was produced by Certec Inc. of Versailles. For more details about the economic impact study, including county level expenditures, visit and click on research.

This story was posted on 2011-05-13 09:57:58
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