There’s another encouraging sign on Kentucky’s economic front. Tourism is up.

Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Marcheta Sparrow says tourism had an $11 billion impact on Kentucky’s economy last year. That’s an almost five-percent increase over the previous year.

The annual survey, conducted by an independent agency, shows tourism responsible for almost 170,000 jobs last year, an almost 2,700 job increase over the previous year. Those jobs generated more than $2.5 billion in wages.

The report says tourism also generated nearly $1.2 billion in tax revenue for local and state governments, up slightly from 2009.

Eight of the state’s nine tourism regions showed visitation gains, with urban areas showing the strongest recovery from the economic downturn of the last few years.