Tourism booming at Kentucky bourbon distilleries - WPSD Local 6: Your news, weather, and sports authority

Tourism booming at Kentucky bourbon distilleries

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Courtesy of Healthy Spirits Bourbon / MGN Courtesy of Healthy Spirits Bourbon / MGN
LOUISVILLE, KY (AP) -

Tourism is booming along with production at Kentucky's bourbon distilleries.

The Kentucky Distillers' Association says the 18 participating distilleries along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour had nearly 725,000 visits from tourists last year. The record number was up 14 percent from 2013.

A recent study showed tourists generally spend hundreds of dollars while visiting Kentucky.

Distilleries have spent tens of millions of dollars on new or expanded visitors' centers in recent years to cater to tourists.

KDA President Eric Gregory said Thursday the group projects tourist visits will reach 1 million in 2018 if double-digit growth continues.

Gregory says distillery officials are hoping state lawmakers will relax some restrictions in an effort to further boost tourism. He says the changes being sought include allowing visitors to sample more bourbons.

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