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Economic impact of tourism grew in Boyle in 2019

In 2019, tourism in Danville and Boyle County there 644 people working in the tourism industry, with a total income of $16.31 million; brought in $5.09 million in state and local taxes. Plus, visitors spent $67.42 million at local businesses and restaurants.

According to recently released figures from the Kentucky Department of Tourism on the economic impact of travel for every county in the Commonwealth for 2018-2019 fiscal year, Boyle’s tourism economic impact increased 7.1% from the previous year. But it could have increased further if the COVID-19 pandemic hadn’t stopped traveling in its tracks.

The dollars brought in to the community through visitors’ spending is important, said Danville-Boyle County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Jennifer Kirchner. “Visitor spending and transient tax (tax collected on hotel, motel and Airbnb) are a boost to our local economy by creating growth and supporting local businesses.”

“We were on track to surpass our 2018-’19 revenue and then the pandemic hit,” Kirchner wrote in her fiscal year summary for the CVB board of directors.

In this 2020-’21 fiscal year, “We are slowly recovering and seeing our months climb back, but we have prepared for a 30% loss in revenue. We are also being very conservative without spending this fall considering there is so much unknown,” Kirchner said.

Because the CVB was forced to adapt its strategies for increasing tourism, “We are currently working closely with our community partners to develop a marketing strategy that addresses new business recruitment as well as new resident attraction. We believe the pandemic has altered many perspectives on where it is best to visit and live, and Boyle County adds up very well considering our wonderful quality of life. We are poised to capture those who are leaving more urban areas looking for less populated areas.”

Kirchner added, “Looking ahead we see the need to generate new strategies for economic and community development.” The historic downtowns of Danville and Perryville need investment of time and money and a way to “invigorate and build them as destinations.”

In Danville, the CVB is working in that direction by its “leadership in the City of Danville’s Downtown Master Plan.

Kirchner said during the ‘19-’20 fiscal year the CVB conducted “a robust marketing effort, economic efforts, increased visitor experiences and sustained community involvement and support.”

She said that the bureau’s goal is to increase visitor spending and tax revenue. “In doing so, we are significant contributors in time, advocacy and money to our non-profit signature events and major attraction sites.”

Kirchner noted that the area’s tourism economy is mostly fueled by business travelers “which requires lending our support to growing our business sectors through industry and commercial development.”

“We are also seeing increased out of state visitors from the Ky Bourbon Trail and weddings. Both continue to be drivers for our leisure travel sector,” Kirchner said.

Kirchner suggested that the CVB should develop transportation options for visitors staying in the local motels, and meeting venues for business travelers. 

“CVB has worked to build beneficial partnerships in the community through securing grants and private funding for investment into projects and infrastructure. Much of this can be seen in our efforts to grow our outdoor recreation economy through our county-wide trail system.”

Kirchner wrote, “The Pandemic has brought unprecedented change to our world and we will continue to adapt.”