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Kentucky Travel Industry Association honors Sen. Damon Thayer with ‘TALL’ award for second time

At its recent Destination Frankfort ’23 legislative event the Kentucky Travel Industry Association (KTIA) presented Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer with its TALL, the Tourism Award for Legislative Leadership.

It was the second time around for Thayer who received the award for his leadership during the 2022 General Assembly in securing a $75 million American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) appropriation for Kentucky’s tourism industry.

Damon Thayer, center, gets the bobble-head for the second time.

Noting that although many people made efforts to bring about the historic ARPA appropriation, KTIA Board Chairman Jeff Crowe said, “If you take one particular person out of the equation, it is very safe to say that the appropriation would not have happened. That one person is Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer.

“When presented by KTIA with a plan for post-pandemic tourism industry recovery and a brighter future, Senator Thayer quickly took the lead and never looked back.”

Crowe also explained the unique TALL award – a bobble head in the recipient’s likeness.

“We wanted the physical award to reflect tourism. Just like a visit to Kentucky we wanted it to be memorable and fun.”

In accepting the award, Sen. Thayer said, “We all take pride in our tourism industry, which means so much to Kentuckians. Kentucky tourism was pushed aside, abandoned and all but forgotten beginning in the spring of 2020. I heard the tourism and travel industries’ pleas for help and was proud to lead the charge, ensuring $75 million in ARPA funds were prioritized to aid in its recovery. I appreciate everyone who works in the tourism and travel industries for doing all they can each day to make Kentucky the greatest place to visit.”

Thayer is the only repeat recipient of the TALL, having first won the award in 2019.

The Kentucky Travel Industry Association represents and serves all segments of Kentucky’s tourism industry, which contributed $11.2 billion to Kentucky’s economy in 2021.

The nearly 1,000-member association engages in advocacy and provides its members with education, information and business development opportunities. The association also works to inform the public of the enormous economic, employment and tax revenue contributions tourism makes to the people of Kentucky.

Kentucky Travel Industry Association

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