The Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism announced in May that it contributed $13.7 billion to the state’s economy in 2015, which is the most added in a single year since 2005. This growth created more than 6,000 jobs in the industry since 2014, for a total of 186,204 tourism jobs.
Tourism to the state’s eastern region added more than a billion dollars to the state’s economy. This part of the state contains many natural attractions, including the Appalachian mountains and Daniel Boone National Forest, which have made Kentucky such a desirable destination. This area hosts a number of horse trails, mountain and lake state parks, more than 500 miles of hiking trails, and the Red River Gorge. — Dylan Turner