Brittany Patterson / Ohio Valley Resource

On a recent sunny weekday, Bill Currey proudly walks among 30 neatly stacked, brightly colored plastic kayaks. Birds chirp merrily, and the soothing sounds of the meandering Coal River permeate the background — nature’s version of a white noise machine.

It's quiet on the docks in Ketchikan. In this Southeast Alaska town that depends on cruise ships to make ends meet, that's worrisome.

Patti Mackey is the head of the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau. Any other May, she said, these docks would be abuzz.

"There would be several thousand people in Ketchikan at the same time getting ready to see the town — and spend their money," Mackey said.

On a March morning at the Maetaeng Elephant Park in Thailand's northern Chiang Mai province, the elephants and their handlers, called mahouts, were entertaining visitors with tricks. Elephants painted pictures with their trunks and deftly back-kicked soccer balls into a net.

Maetaeng is one of the biggest wildlife camps in the north, with 85 elephants. They are also available for guests to ride or go trekking with in the surrounding hills.

Brittany Patterson / Ohio Valley Resource

 Standing on the breezy outlook at Flag Rock Recreation Area, Norton City Manager Fred Ramey is taking in the panoramic view of downtown Norton, Virginia. 

Courtesy City of Paducah

The City of Paducah and McCracken County passed in a joint meeting on Monday an agreement that involves generating revenue for future sports facilities. 

Matt Markgraf / WKMS

Businesses and government officials in west Tennessee are making a concerted effort to bolster tourism in the region through capitalizing on assets like Reelfoot Lake and Discovery Park of America to promoting on-farm experiences and outdoor sports. The Discovery Park of America and Obion County Chamber of Commerce hosted a tourism summit this week, with the new Tennessee Commissioner of Tourist Development, Mark Ezell.

A senate panel Tuesday approved legislation to remove a $25 million cap for future public-private partnership state projects. 

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Carlisle County has partnered with a marketing research consulting firm to study ways to boost economic development and tourism. 

Lukasz Stefanski/123rf Stock Photo

State officials say tourists spent more than $19 billion in Tennessee in 2016, an increase of 5 percent compared with the previous year.

Kentucky State Park Commission via WFPL

A year after the legislature set aside an extra $18 million to make improvements to Kentucky’s state parks system, officials say the facilities have “turned the corner” on the way to being safer and more inviting to tourists.