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Ky. tourism agency leaders tout millions in federal funding to support industry

Erin Carrico, Executive Director of the Murray Convention and Visitors Bureau, speaking at the state capitol Wednesday.
Youtube, Gov. Andy Beshear
Erin Carrico, Executive Director of the Murray Convention and Visitors Bureau, speaking at the state capitol Wednesday.

Tourism agency leaders across Kentucky touted more than $5 million dollars being allocated to support travel and outdoor recreation at the state capitol Wednesday, saying it would support the tourism industry in communities large and small recovering from pandemic impacts.

A release from Gov. Andy Beshear’s office states tourism and marketing groups in 88 counties will receive some of the federal funding, with groups for Louisville, Lexington and northern Kentucky receiving about half of the money. Visitors bureaus for Bowling Green and Paducah are each receiving more than $100,000.

“From Pikeville to Paducah, from Covington to Corbin, tourism is a driving force in our economy,” Beshear said. “We want the world to see us, to see the incredible things that are happening here.”

Gov. Andy Beshear previously announced in December the state would receive about $5.3 million from the American Rescue Plan Act to support the state’s tourism industry. Liz Hammonds, Marketing and Communications Director for the Paducah Convention and Visitors Bureau, said her organization applied for and proposed projects to the state on how to use the funding, which state officials approved.

Hammonds said those projects include a revamped website to promote events in Paducah and more video marketing to showcase Paducah online and on television.

“When you think of Kentucky, you often think of those larger, more central Kentucky spaces. But over here in west Kentucky, we have just as much to offer,” Hammonds said. “We have wonderful creativity, wonderful culture, wonderful recreation, and this money gives us a chance to show that off.”

Other tourism and marketing groups in western Kentucky receiving funding include:

  • Princeton Tourism Commission - $5,570
  • Murray Convention & Visitors Bureau - $30,376
  • Hopkinsville/Christian Co. Convention & Visitors Bureau - $32,107
  • Oak Grove Tourism & Convention Commission - $29,637
  • City of Marion KY Tourism Commission - $1,938
  • Mayfield Tourism Commission - $12,771
  • Grand Rivers Tourism Commission/City of Grand Rivers - $9,123
  • Lake Barkley Tourist Commission/c/o Lyon Co Fiscal Court - $14,615
  • Marshall County Tourist & Convention Commission - $31,375
  • Cadiz/Trigg Co. Tourist & Convention Commission - $12,208
  • Hopkins County Tourist & Convention Commission - $28,697
  • KY Great River Road Organization - $6,096
"Liam Niemeyer is a reporter for the Ohio Valley Resource covering agriculture and infrastructure in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia and also serves Assistant News Director at WKMS. He has reported for public radio stations across the country from Appalachia to Alaska, most recently as a reporter for WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio. He is a recent alumnus of Ohio University and enjoys playing tenor saxophone in various jazz groups."
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