LEXINGTON – According to a study for the Kentucky Department of Tourism, Fayette County had $1.5 billion in economic impact, which also generated more than 11,000 jobs. 

“We’ve worked hard to rebound from the pandemic – and tourism in Lexington has not only been revived, but it’s also back better than ever,” said Mary Quinn Ramer, president of VisitLEX. “This milestone is a great tribute to local and state partnerships, local attractions, and the entire community, which always welcomes visitors with true hospitality.

“The investment of pandemic relief funds from the American Rescue Plan, our new state-of-the-art Central Bank Convention Center and the Breeders’ Cup were critical to VisitLEX’s ability to market and attract visitors to our great city.” 

Tourism is one of Kentucky’s top industries with an annual economic impact in 2022 of almost $12.9 billion. The numbers for the state and Fayette County both exceeded pre-pandemic numbers of 2019.

In 2022, 75.9 million travelers visited Kentucky and spent $8.9 billion, according to the study, which was performed by Tourism Economics. More than $937 million in state and local taxes were generated, equating to a $536 tax savings for every Kentucky household. Total visitation reached 103% of 2019 volumes, and visitor spending reached 112%.

More details about the tourism economic impact study are available here.