On August 8, 2023, Governor Andy Beshear announced that 2022 was a great year for Kentucky Tourism with $12.9 billion generated in economic impact. Each year the Kentucky Department of Tourism (KDT) releases a report over tourism’s economic impact on the entire commonwealth, as well as a breakdown for each county. Hardin County has two tourism bureaus, Radcliff/Fort Knox Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and Elizabethtown Tourism & Convention Bureau (ETCB).
In 2022 visitors spent $335.57 million in Hardin County, which is a 11% increase from 2021. Tourism also accounted for 2,472 jobs in the area and labor income totaled to $69.51 million for 2022. The number of jobs increased almost 6% and labor income increased 8% over the previous year. Hardin County generated $26.7 million in state and local taxes, which is a 14% increase from 2021.
“Elizabethtown Tourism is continually looking for innovative ways to diversify our visitor economy and I think the incredible 2022 economic impact numbers showcase this effort.” Stated Janna Clark, Executive Director for ETCB. “These numbers in part are due to new attractions being built, the Elizabethtown Sports Park and of course increases in business travel related to BOSK and the EV industry. Our community is booming, and we are very pleased with the numbers from the study and are excited to continue the progress in 2023.”
The 2022 Tourism Economic Impact numbers show that Hardin County has not only rebounded since the COVID-19 pandemic but has exceeded pre-pandemic numbers. Visitor spending increased 12% since 2019 and labor income increase by 4.5% post pandemic. Overall visitors spending totaled to $8.9 billion throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky which is a 112% increase from 2019.
“We not only rebounded but also exceeded pre-pandemic numbers. We certainly have much to celebrate.” Stated Kelly Barron, CEO of Radcliff/Fort Knox CVB. “The figures show that without a doubt, tourism is back in full swing after uncertainty due to COVID and underscores the fact that our industry is a major economic engine for Hardin County. 2022 was a record year and we will continue to work hard to keep the momentum going and look forward to all the great things yet to come.”.
For more information and to view the entire economic impact report please click here.