State’s tourism industry slowly reopening

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) Kentucky continues to take steps forward in its efforts to reopen tourism and boost the states economy while continuing to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

Kentucky has taken a phased approach to reopening tourism beginning with the opening of state park lodging on June 1. Monday, the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet reopened the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History.

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Kentucky tourism serves a vital role in sustaining local communities and small businesses that thrive on travel spending.

“As summer arrives, it is important that we ensure our reopening efforts protect the health and well-being of our fellow Kentuckians as well as distribute economic recovery across the commonwealth,”Gov. Andy Beshear said.

The Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History reopened for Member Monday in accordance with Healthy at Work guidelines, which allows museums to resume operations on June 8. Kentucky State Park historical sites and museums also reopened to the public.

The reopening of the center includes the permanent gallery of A Kentucky JourneyHall of GovernorsPoetry in Color: Paul Sawyiers Two Villages and the current Keeneland Gallery exhibition. The Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum will not reopen at this time.

“Tourism spending in Kentucky is already starting to rebound as we head into the summer,” said Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry. “We believe this a positive sign for the future of tourism recovery, and we are hopeful this upward trend continues as reopening efforts are underway in Kentucky.”

In preparation for summer travel, Kentucky tourism officials analyzed data from a national COVID-19 U.S. Travel Sentiment Survey about how and when travel will resume. Studies suggest nearly 50% of respondents now feel safe taking a road trip and 57% feel safe engaging in outdoor recreational activities. These findings perfectly align with Kentuckys central location and expansive park system.

The Kentucky tourism June reopening timeline is as follows:

June 1:

  • Kentucky State Resort Parks, recreational parks, lodges, and cabins
  • Fishing tournaments
  • Aquatic Centers
  • Auto and dirt racetracks
  • Movie theaters

June 8:

  • Lake Cumberland, Lake Barkley, Buckhorn and Blue Licks Kentucky State Parks
  • Distilleries
  • Aquariums
  • Limited outdoor attractions
  • Kentucky State Park museum and historical sites
  • Salato Wildlife Education Center
  • Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History
  • Historical horseracing

June 11:

  • Kentucky Horse Park, campgrounds

June 17:

  • First competitive horse show at Kentucky Horse Park (without spectators)

June 29:

  • Gatherings with 50 people or fewer
  • Venues that hold 50 people or fewer