Tourism and Smoke-free

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Smoke-Free: A Tourist’s Destination

Tourism is an important economic driver contributing $13.1 billion to Kentucky’s economy in 2014.1 Successful tourism relies not only on individual attractions, but on a welcoming community environment.2 Smoke-free laws contribute to a healthy environment by protecting people from secondhand tobacco smoke in all workplaces and public places.

Tourists Expect Smoke-free Places

  • 87% of guests prefer a smoke-free hospitality environment.3
  • Smoke-free laws protect the health of local residents, visitors, and travelers.
  • Tourists travel more frequently than the average consumer and prefer to visit areas that protect both the environment and the welfare of the local people.4

“As the owner of a business which caters to tourism, I am watching our county lose money every time the guests at The Hill House Bed & Breakfast decide to spend their time dining and then shopping in Bardstown, simply because smoking is allowed in most restaurants in Marion County.” –Lisa Marie Williams, 20155

Ten years after going smoke-free the Irish minister of tourism, stated that a smoke-free Ireland “absolutely” increased tourism.

Smoke-free Laws Help Tourism

  • Bardstown, KY, smoke-free since 2010, experienced an increase in tourism in 2014, adding $89 million in total economic impact.6
  • Hotels and restaurants in 5 New York counties showed higher annual payrolls and significant increases in hotel, eating, and drinking taxable sales after smoke-free policies took effect.8
  • Hawaii found that tourism and employment increased as smoke-free laws took effect.9


“The best promotion is for satisfied tourists to tell their friends about their experiences in Kentucky.” –Ecotourism in Kentucky10

Give tourists a smoke-free Kentucky!

  1. Stewart B. Tourism boosts Ky. economy, appeal. Lexington Herald Leader. May 6, 2015; Opinion.
  2. Wilson S, Fesenmaier DR, Fesenmaier J, Van Es JC. Factors for success in rural tourism development. Journal of Travel Research. 2001;40(2):132-138.
  3. J.D. Power and Associates. As Industry Begins to Rebound from Downturn, Satisfaction with Hotels Increases Notably [press release]. July 27, 2010.
  4. Center for Responsible Travel (CREST). The case for responsible travel: Trends and statistics. In: Center for Responsible Travel, ed2013:8.
  5. Williams LM. Letters: Smoke-free air. The Lebanon Enterprise. 2015;Letters to the editor.
  6. Goode K. Tourism up in county and state: Bourbon not the only thing drawing visitors. The Kentucky Standard. May 9, 2015, 2015.
  7. Selcraig B. In Ireland, 10 years of fresh air. The New York Times. June 15, 2014, 2014.
  8. Hyland A, Puli V, Cummings M, Sciandra R. New York's smoke-free regulations: Effects on employment and sales in the hospitality industry. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly. 2003;44:9-16.
  9. Dobson Amato KA, Rivard C, Lipsher J, Hyland A. Five years after the Hawai'i smoke-free law: tourism and hospitality economic indicators appear unharmed. Hawai'i Journal of Medicine & Public Health: A Journal of Asia Pacific Medicine & Public Health. 2013;72(10):355-361.
  10. Ecotourism in Kentucky. 2010; Accessed December 3, 2015.