Glasgow-Barren County Tourism Announces Top 20 Footing out of Kentucky’s 120 Counties in Visitor Spending in 2023 

GLASGOW, KY – June 4, 2024 – Governor Beshear recently announced that tourism in Kentucky generated $13.8 billion in total economic impact in 2023, surpassing the state’s previous record. Barren County secures its place in the top 20 of Kentucky’s 120 counties in 2023 visitor spending. 

The Glasgow area has a robust history with tourism and the economic impact of the industry in a post-pandemic world continues to be impressive, consistently solidifying Barren County as a premiere Kentucky destination that is here to stay. In 2023, tourism in Barren County generated 987 jobs, $25.9 million in labor income, $9.7 million in state and local taxes, and $121 million in total visitor spending

“The collective efforts of Barren County’s hospitality industry are reflected within these numbers. They are a testament to all of our local partners, from small business owners to investors to front-line workers to marketing partners and more, who are all equally as committed as we are to convey to visitors why it’s ‘better in the barrens,’” said MacLean Lessenberry, Executive Director of the Glasgow-Barren County Tourist & Convention Commission. “Our vision for the future is ambitious, but our recent history proves what’s attainable and we’re up for the challenge. We look forward to continuing to establish our footprint as a major Kentucky destination within the Kentucky tourism landscape, especially in the outdoor adventure sector.” 

Tourism industry numbers for the Commonwealth in 2023 exceeded expectations with a total economic impact reaching $13.8 billion, generating 95,235 jobs across Kentucky. The report was produced for the Kentucky Tourism, Arts, & Heritage Cabinet by Tourism Economics, Kentucky Department of Tourism’s research partner. 

As the official destination marketing organization for Glasgow and Barren County, Glasgow-Barren County Tourist & Convention Commission’s mission is to promote tourist and convention activity in order to generate strong economic impact by marketing and developing the region as a welcoming destination for visitors. A true, unwavering belief in Barren County’s ability to grow and thrive through forward thinking and dedication to the region is at the very core of the commission and its work. To read the state’s official statement regarding this year’s impact report click here.