WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News

Local Tourism Dollars Could Be Increasing

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

The price at the pump continues to climb, but some good may come out of the soaring prices.

With the summer travel season just around the corner many eastern Kentuckians are looking to stay a little closer to home this yea,. keeping their vacation dollars in the bluegrass.

Some people say the high price at the pump is forcing them to scale down their normal vacation plans and that could mean more money will flow into state parks and other near by locations.

This would provide a boost to the local economy.

The pinch at the pump is pinching more than wallets. As the mom of two teens, Jennifer Burke Elliott, says the high prices are limiting their summer vacationing.

“Look at finances and pick and choose what you're going to do, if you're going to do anything over the summer,” Elliott said.

Prestonsburg Tourism Director Fred James believes local tourist spots can cash in on the higher gas prices.

He says the Big Sandy region took in 355 million tourism dollars last year, but he believes they may take in even more money this year.

“We may not get people from far off distances, but we'll get people close. The more expensive the gasoline, the shorter the trips they take, or more frequently take trips. We really, and truly expect a good travel season here in eastern Kentucky,” James said.

James and other tourism directors are pushing the hot spots to locals this summer.

“They can watch their nickels and dimes for a little while and make enough to make a trip a couple hundred miles and you can go anywhere from Cumberland Falls to Greenbo,” James said.

Those we talked to say they will visit.

“With gas prices as high as they are, to stay around home and slow down a bit and really take in the beauty of right here at home,” Darrell Leslie said.

Tourism directors aren't complaining.

Fred James says they are not forgetting about out of town tourists completely.

He says they're still spending about one-third of their advertising dollars outside of Kentucky.


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