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Economic Impact of Tourism in the Kentucky Trail Towns


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Wehmeyer, A., Bradley, M.J., & Maples, J.N. (2021). Economic Impact of Tourism in the Kentucky Trail Towns. 43rd Annual Southeast Environment and Recreation Research Virtual Conference (March 22-26, 2021). https://youtu.be/k4rL8sbb9Wk

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The designation of the Kentucky Trail Towns has a significant impact on the local economy of each community due to the increased number of tourists who visit the area for recreation. By having these towns chosen to be an official trail town, they can begin to grow economically through tourism opportunities as well as through services such as restaurants, hotels, stores, campgrounds, and other entertainment in the city. This program also allows these towns to showcase their cultural and historical legacy within the state. Another positive effect of this program is the increased number of visitors to the parks that are associated with their designated Trail Town. The relationship between the towns and their outdoor recreation opportunities are greatly beneficial for each other. The town advertises the parks and trails located near them while the parks in this program help to advertise things to do in the town. This encourages people to spend both time and money in the city to help grow the economy while bringing in more visitors to the park. Due to the extremely positive economic affect of this program, I believe that it is important that the program continues to operate and grow to include other towns within the state. Many towns in Kentucky would greatly benefit from the increased number of tourists if they were given the designation of a Trail Town.


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