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Tourism Driving Economic Force In Jackson Co.

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Tourism Driving Economic Force In Jackson Co.

Tourism is the driving force of Jackson County’s economy.

That’s according to data from the State Department of Tourism. Jackson County Mayor Randy Heady said he met with representatives Thursday as part of the department’s Tourism Roadmap workshop.

Heady said they heard updates on the industry in the county and discussed how it can continue to grow and improve.

“Tourism has saved the local taxpayer in Jackson County $45 a year,” Heady said. “Now that doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but we’re talking about $45 in property tax. So that’s pretty huge. It’s not as big as it could be, we know that, but it’s still a huge improvement to what it was four years ago when it was maybe $5.”

Heady said the county heard many ways to continue to improve the county’s tourism industry. He said one way the county plans to do that is through incentives for hospitality.

While the county does well with AirBnBs, inns, and the Wildwood Resort and Marina, Heady said there aren’t many incentives for that industry in the state. He said they hope to explore that further by looking to open up more opportunities of that nature.

“Rural communities like ours are a great place to live and we have a lot of natural resources, there is a lot of incentive here,” Heady said. “But those things also make it difficult sometimes in building economic development. So when you find a piece that works for you and a way to take the burden off of the taxpayer, helping that in a different avenue is so strategic.”

Heady said one thing that has set Jackson County apart from other tourist destinations in the state is its new status as a “foodie place.” He said because Gainesboro and the county, in general, boasts many delicious local restaurants, more people come to try the food.


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