Kentucky State Parks Receives Star of the Industry Award from Kentucky Travel Industry Association

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 15, 2023) – Kentucky State Parks received a Star of the Industry Award from the Kentucky Travel Industry Association (KTIA) at the 2023 Annual Conference in Bowling Green. This award recognizes travel professionals who have demonstrated exceptional frontline service and who are vital contributors to a visitor’s experience and satisfaction.

“Our dedicated team members at Kentucky State Parks not only welcome travelers from across the commonwealth and world to our beautiful state, but they are also there for Kentuckians in times of need like following the tornadoes in the west and flooding in the east,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “I am grateful to KTIA and the entire travel industry for recognizing just how important our parks staff are to this essential industry and all of Kentucky.”

Kentucky State Parks were recognized for outstanding hospitality, as well as significant contributions following the 2021 tornadoes in Western Kentucky and the historic flooding that impacted Eastern Kentucky in 2022.

“Kentucky’s state parks are well-known for their hospitality, and parks employees are a key part of that success,” said Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Lindy Casebier. “We congratulate Kentucky State Parks on this well-deserved acknowledgement and thank KTIA for recognizing the hard-working employees of the parks system.”

“Visitors see Kentucky State Parks as destinations for outdoor recreation, natural beauty, special events and more,” said Kentucky State Parks Commissioner Russ Meyer. “Additionally, our state parks offer a safe haven and helped many Kentuckians during the pandemic and natural disasters. We take great pride in serving folks, whether they are international travelers or our neighbors from down the road. Thank you to KTIA for this special honor.”

“On behalf of Kentucky State Parks, it is truly an honor to see our park system acknowledged for their unwavering dedication and tireless efforts in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19, the Western Kentucky tornadoes and the Eastern Kentucky floods,” said Director of Park Operations Mark Kellen. “We are honored to serve the great commonwealth, and we also want to acknowledge the many park employees who came together to assist those in distress during a time of devastation, pain and worry. Our employees are the everyday champions who make our state parks the best they can be, emerging as the ultimate champions.” 

KTIA represents the commonwealth’s travel and tourism industry. The association has approximately 900 organizations and individual members, including attractions, convention and visitor bureaus, hotels, restaurants, state government agencies, universities, media and industry suppliers. 

Kentucky is home to 44 state parks, including 17 resort parks and 13 golf courses. For more information about Kentucky State Parks, visit