U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) announced that $685,000 was approved by the House of Representatives last week for continued support of the Southern & Eastern Kentucky Tourism Development Association (SEKTDA). As part of the FY 2010 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, the funding for SEKTDA will sustain critical tourism-based economic development, training, and promotion. “At every turn, families are looking for less expensive and more convenient closer to home vacation options,” said Rogers.
“Because of our coordinated tourism initiative, southern and eastern Kentucky is well poised to draw these would-be visitors to fish our wild rivers, enjoy rich family entertainment at Renfro Valley or the Mountain Arts Center, camp along Buckhorn Lake, or hike Pine Mountain. Our region has an endless number of attractions and SEKTDA is leading the way in promoting these eye-catching and adventure-seeking spots around the world. With these funds, SEKTDA will continue its fine efforts at training up entrepreneurs, building up local tourism coalitions, and keeping visitors coming back to Appalachia.”
Over the past five years, Rogers has secured nearly $6 million for SEKTDA. In 2007, the tourism and travel industry contributed over $1.3 billion annually to the region, supporting 20,000 jobs. Statewide, there is a $10.1 billion annual impact from tourism.
SEKTDA is a nonprofit organization created in 1987 to promote and coordinate tourism throughout Southern and Eastern Kentucky in an effort to contribute to the economic and cultural growth of the region. SEKTDA, through its 47-county service area, utilizes these funds to train small business operators, community leaders, and entrepreneurs in hospitality, marketing, customer retention, and business plan development.
This legislation favorably passed out of the House of Representatives on July 16, 2009 and awaits Senate consideration this summer. As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, Rogers works to secure funding for important initiatives in the Fifth Congressional District.