Kentucky tourism requested for $75 million to get well from pandemic

Published on : Monday, November 29, 2021

State tourism and convention officials are request the lawmakers to keep $75 million sideways in American Rescue Plan Act funds that would help the industry withstand the pandemic blues.


Slowly, the Kentucky tourism has revived over the last year after going through a sharp decline in travel but the industry advocates are eyeing for a quick start of federal relief money to help market the state.


Hank Phillips, president of the Kentucky Travel Industry Association, explained that tourism needs traction.


“We need to get off the mat, we need to become stronger, more productive, and our tourism recovery and investment plan will help us get there,” Phillips said during a legislative meeting last week.


As part of the American Rescue Plan Act, Kentucky spent $1.4 billion of the $2.1 billion it received that passed out of Congress last year.


The proposal of the travel industry comprises setting aside $50 million for the Kentucky Department of Tourism for promotion; $35 million would be utilized for city tourism efforts and $25 million for cities that have convention centers and large hotels.


Marci Krueger, a vice president with Lexington’s tourism bureau, stated that conventions have been badly impacted by the pandemic.


“The ARPA funds will definitely help us, with the cities of Kentucky, to market and promote meetings and convention visits, to welcome them back into the beautiful state of Kentucky and to leave their money here with us in our state,” Krueger said.

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