Southern Kentucky is seeing a huge boost in tourism spending. A new study shows a 10-county region including Barren, Logan, Simpson and Warren Counties had a nearly seven percent increase in tourism receipts last year.
The numbers come from the annual Kentucky Tourism Economic Impact Report released this week.
Telia Butler is a spokeswoman for the Bowling Green Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. She says the spike in regional tourism is due in part to several new Warren County attractions and events.
“We’ve got the Mid-South Conference athletic championships,” says Butler. “They announced their partnership with Bowling Green to host all kinds of their championships with sports at the beginning of 2015 and they’ve been here all year.”
She says new motor sports events also added to the growth in tourism. The first full year of operation for the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park drew a large number of visitors.
“There’s lots of other motor sports events that were brand new in 2015,” says Butler. “Like the Danchuk Tri-Five Nationals. That’s the 60th anniversary of the ‘55,’56 and ’57 Chevys and there were a couple thousand cars in town for that.”
Butler says the Beech Bend water park and raceway had more than one million visitors during the past year. That’s the largest attraction, by dollar value, in Warren County.
Butler says the interest in Warren County as a destination is expected to grow again this year. Five tourism writers from New York are due in Bowling Green during the May 14 weekend and a group 60 writers who specialize in family travel will be Warren County in August.