Tourism Industry bouncing back after pandemic shutdown

The local tourism industry took a hit at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic but the last few weeks have been a significant bounce back for tourism in Russell County .

“Things are definitely picking up here in Russell County,” Tourism Director Janette Marson said. “It’s hard to know how things were going to go, whether people would travel or not, and here at least in our county, we’re finding that people are traveling.”

Marson said Lake Cumberland has seen plenty of traffic this summer as many view it as a safe way to enjoy the outdoors.

“We are blessed to have wide open spaces of lake, a lot of AirBnB and VRBO vacation rentals, and house-boating where people can get away and be by themselves,” Marson said.

Business at Lake Cumberland State Park has picked up significantly, Marson said, as well as business at many of the local marinas. Marson said it seems like there has been an uptick in houseboat rentals as of late.

“The house-boating has been phenomenal,” Marson said. “All of our marinas that offer houseboats, the houseboats come in and they are being rented right back out again.”

Marson credits the uptick to people deciding to stay closer to home when making summer travel plans. Many people from Kentucky and neighboring states are opting to visit places like Lake Cumberland as opposed to places like Florida or other beach destinations.

“A lot of people have had to cancel vacations to places like Florida and other places like that, so they’re choosing to come to Russell County because we have Lake Cumberland here and that’s just wonderful,” Marson said.

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Zac Oakes is the News and Sports Director for LakerCountry.com and Laker Country WJRS 104.9 FM.