This column was originally published in The News-Enterprise on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 9:23 p.m.

Earlier this month, the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet released its annual report on the economic impact of Kentucky’s travel and tourism industry. Tourism long has been an important job creator in Kentucky, and as the report revealed, those opportunities are growing across the state. Tourism-generated jobs provided more than $3.2 billion in wages to Kentucky workers in 2016 — an increase of more than $156 million from 2015 wages.

In Hardin County, where I serve as executive director of the Eliza­bethtown Tourism and Convention Bureau, and every other county in the Lincoln Trail region, we picked up new tourism jobs in 2016.

That job growth and the growth of our larger region goes hand in hand with the industry’s core goal – attract visitors to a community to spend money. And as the report indicates, visitors find our area worthy of their tourism dollars.

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