Trade & Tourism Luncheon 
April 25, 2003

Your Royal Highness, Ambassador Farish, our British guests and my fellow Kentuckians. 

As Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, I’m very proud to be a part of this event and to have Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Anne as our special guest here in Kentucky. 

While in the United Kingdom last summer on an economic development and tourism mission, Judi and I invited Her Royal Highness to be our guest this week and to help us unveil the “All the Queen’s Horses” exhibition, which will be the feature attraction this summer at the Kentucky Horse Park.  

Like all Kentuckians, we’re very excited and pleased that Princess Anne accepted our invitation to open this exhibition that shows the unique relationship the horse has played in the development of the English society, the ancestor of our American way of life.   

Another unique relationship, and one we are here to talk about today, is the importance of international trade and tourism to the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Last year, Kentucky companies sold more than $10 billion dollars worth of goods overseas—that’s an increase of 17 percent, which is remarkable given the world’s economic conditions.  

More remarkable is the fact that Kentucky’s export growth rate last year was the 3rd largest of all the 50 states. 

In fact, during the 1990’s, Kentucky’s export growth rate was the 4th fastest of all 50 states. Kentucky currently ranks 20th of all states in total exports.

Nowhere is Kentucky’s success with international trade and tourism more evident than as it relates to the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is Kentucky’s 3rd largest trading partner.

In 2002, Kentucky companies sold more than $824 million of goods to the UK. This is an increase of 3 percent over 2001. 

The Cabinet for Economic Development reports that exports to the United Kingdom support more than 10,000 jobs – directly, indirectly and induced, and the United Kingdom is a large investor in the Commonwealth as witnessed by the fact that 30 British firms have operations in Kentucky, employing more than 4,500 Kentuckians.

And we don’t just count reverse investment when we tabulate economic development. 

We include tourism, and the United Kingdom is by far the most important overseas market for leisure travelers to the United States

9/11 severely affected all international travel to the US, but travel from the UK was impacted less severely than every other market and is rebounding more quickly than all others, although recovery is not yet complete.

In 2002, the UK remained the number one source of overseas arrivals to the US.  

For KY, the UK is also the #1 overseas market for leisure travelers.   

According to the Commercial Service at the US Embassy in London, about 110,000 British travelers visit KY each year, spending $93 million, which affects every segment of our society.

Judi and I have participated in 2 tourism sales missions to the UK on behalf of Kentucky tourism during our administration and I we’re pleased with the many relationships we’ve created that will be mutually beneficial.   

Mr. Ambassador: I’d like to thank you and acknowledge your personal involvement and hospitality to our mission during our most recent trip to England.

Even under current market conditions, we believe the number of British travelers visiting Kentucky can be increased in the years to come and we are confident that the UK will remain Kentucky’s #1 overseas market for tourism. 

We believe the strong cultural, historic and economic ties between Kentucky and the UK will lead to even more leisure travel between the people of Kentucky and the citizens of England.

I’m proud to mention another strong tie that was announced just a few minutes ago in the Lincoln Room of this hotel and one Her Royal Highness was kind enough to join.   

Lexington Kentucky and the city of Newmarket England minutes ago signed a letter of intent to establish a sister city relationship. Newmarket is the center for horse breeding and sales in the UK as Lexington is in the United States.

This is a very exciting development and I would like to recognize Mayor Teresa Isaac, Newmarket Mayor Linda Sherer, and former mayors Pam Miller and Jim Amato for all their hard work.  

Again, Your Royal Highness, we’re pleased you’re visiting with us -- in not only the Horse Capitol of the World but in a state that is leading our nation in education reform for its children and creating unlimited opportunities for its citizens to grow and prosper.