The report states that the Commonwealth of Kentucky provides and annual report of the economic impact of the tourism industry for each county and shows how it compares to other counties in the region and state.
Trigg County, whose tourism industry had an economic impact of about $22.1 million last year, is part of the Western Lakes and Rivers Region, whose tourism industries had a total economic impact of about $440.6 million, the report stated.
Bill Stevens, executive director of the Cadiz/Trigg County Tourism Commission, said the state compiles this information from state records and tax payments, and he estimated that about 90 percent of that $22.1 million is spent by people from out of town and out of county, as that has been the case in previous years.
For Trigg County, both its direct expenditures and its total expenditures have increased over previous years, including and increase of almost $1 million from 2008 to 2009.
However, some at the meeting, including Kathy Tessier, a guest, wondered if the economy of the county has really improved by that much. Stevens said he hasn’t personally felt much of a difference, but added that transient room taxes, which are collected from hotels and motels, are only one part of the local economy.
Stevens said that although some hotel revenues are down, one probable explanation is that a lot of people are visiting Lake Barkley and other areas of the county and are spending money but aren’t necessarily spending the night.
“Transient taxes are down statewide, but camping is up,” Stevens said. “This takes into account … attraction visitations, convenience store sales grocery sales, shopping sales, anything.”
John Bryant, chairman of the Tourism Commission, said that amount of money, spread out around the entire county, is definitely plausible.
Tessier said that the sale of alcohol in the county, which started this year, should increase that economic impact, as people who are now able to buy alcohol here will probably spend money on other things here as well.
The Western Lakes and Rivers Region also includes Ballard, Caldwell, Christian, Calloway, Carlisle, Crittenden, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Livingston, Lyon, Marshall, McCracken and Todd counties.