The Harlan Tourism and Convention Commission heard the tourism director’s annual report during a recent meeting, centering on the economic impact tourism has had on the local economy in the last fiscal year.
Harlan Tourism Director Brandon Pennington presented his report to the panel at the request of chair Annie Fox.
“We distributed over 38,000 brochures,” Pennington said. “This included the brochures distributed from the visitor center.”
According to Pennington, Harlan Tourism collaborated in over 60 events.
“We received three rewards from the Kentucky Travel Industry Association,” Pennington said. “We were also chosen to be the host city for third-quarter meeting of the Kentucky Association of Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. Approximately 40 tourism directors attended that meeting and they spent over $7,000 in our area over that time.”
Pennington pointed out Jordan Smith winning ‘The Voice’ had an impact as well.
“We hosted all of the viewing parties and we also partnered with the fiscal court to do the welcome back parade and the concert in the parking lot.”
Pennington then moved on to the numbers.
“The state had a 4.4 percent increase in 2013,” Pennington explained. “In terms of local impact during 2015, we accumulated $568,496 in revenue based on our taxes.”
Pennington said $528,390.77 was collected in restaurant tax and $40,115.68 in transient room tax.
“These taxes equated to an $18,519,759.67 economic impact just within the city alone, which does not include any of our retail, none of or trail permits or any other tourism related activity, it’s just the economic impact on the restaurants and hotels,” Pennington said.
The panel passed a motion accepting the financial report.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @Joe_hde.