Kentucky Civil War Sites Association
Contact: Joni House
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PERRYVILLE – Kentucky has long been a battlefield, seeing action during the Revolutionary and Civil wars all across the Commonwealth. From state parks, historic sites to non-profit groups, people have worked to preserve the state’s war sites. Visitors to these sites have a profound impact on the state and local economies, generating more than $10.1 million annually.
The Kentucky Civil War Sites Association conducted a 2017 survey on the economic and cultural impact of Kentucky’s Civil War and Revolutionary War battlefields and related historic sites. The study was based on results from the 2017 Visitor Survey commissioned by the Kentucky Civil War Sites Association and funded by a grant from the American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) of the National Park Service.
Statistics from the survey show visitors came from Kentucky, plus 43 other states and five countries during the survey period, from April to October 2017. More than half came from outside Kentucky, travelling more than 200 miles to experience of Kentucky’s Civil War or Revolutionary War historic sites. Of Kentuckians surveyed, 65 percent strongly support the use of tax dollars being spent to preserve Kentucky’s battlefields and related historic sites in the state.
“Historic sites need a dedicated funding stream to remain viable and support tourism activities in the Commonwealth,” said Civil War Sites Association President Joni House. “This study certainly illustrates the economic importance battlefields and related historic sites bring to local communities and Kentucky.”
Out-of-state tourist spending boosts Kentucky’s GDP by $7.1 million, generating over $1 million in state and local tax revenue. For more than half of all visitors, visiting the specific historic site was one of the main reasons for coming, including 3 out of 10 who said it was the primary reason they came to the area. Visitors were relatively affluent, with 42 percent having an annual income of $75,000 or more, including 22 percent with an income in excess of $100,000. Overall, site visitors were well-educated, with the majority having at least a four-year college degree, with more than 20% having studied beyond college.
Kentucky residents who visit battlefields and related historic sites who stay overnight in paid lodging have an economic impact of supporting 42 jobs with labor income totaling $1.1 million and value added of $1.8 million.
Civil War and Revolutionary War sites in the Commonwealth were nearly universally enjoyed by visitors, 98 percent had a positive experience at the site they visited, and over nine out of 10 would likely recommend a visit to the site to friends and family. “Being here makes understanding it much easier than reading from a book,” one visitor wrote.