FRANKFORT, Ky. — For the second straight year, the number of visitors who completed the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Passport program surged more than 300 percent, as more than 9,000 people finished the historic tour of all six legendary distilleries in 2010.
“An unbelievable achievement for our signature industry and our Commonwealth,” said Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association that created and coordinates the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour.
“We couldn’t be more proud of this trademark attraction,” Gregory said. “It promotes our rich heritage, it benefits our local economies and it is growing more popular every day. This is proof.”
About 400,000 people visited at least one of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® distilleries in 2010, a 14 percent increase in attendance from 2009, Gregory said. More than 1.8 million people have visited the member distilleries in the last five years alone.
Created by the KDA in 1999, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour features six distilleries, each offering a unique and educational experience on the art and craft of Bourbon-making: Four Roses, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey and Woodford Reserve.
In 2007, the KDA launched its souvenir “Passport” program to reward visitors with a complimentary T-shirt once they complete tours of all Kentucky Bourbon Trail® distilleries. Since then, more than 13,000 have finished the tour — including 3,000 in 2009 and a record 9,402 in 2010.
Other key statistics from 2010 include:
• Kentucky led the way with 1,879 completed Passports, followed by Ohio, Indiana and Illinois
• Visitors from all 50 states completed the program, including the first from Hawaii
• Passports came from 14 countries, including Austria, Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, South Africa and Switzerland
“We’re proud that Kentucky is the birthplace of Bourbon and the only place in the world where visitors can enjoy the authentic Bourbon experience,” Gregory said. “The tremendous success of our Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour is a remarkable tribute to the growing popularity of our signature spirit.”
For more information, contact KDA President Eric Gregory at (502) 875-9351.
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail® is a registered trademark of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.