WKYT 27 reported recently that officials are considering a whitewater park at the Kentucky-Virginia lines in hopes to boost tourism in the state. Right now, Kentucky is basically void of any decent "river rafting" option (as is the case with most of the Midwest), so this may provide an opportunity for not only the Kentucky residents, but neighboring states as well.
I assume that would be the main focus when officials say "tourism", because I doubt visitors would make a special trip to Kentucky just for a whitewater rafting park. Plus, you have the US national whitewater center down in NC, and a few others across the East.
I would venture to say the most business would still be the local market (at least for the near future). When I was talking to one of the Marketing Directors at the USNWC a couple years ago when they first opened, he told us that their visitors and target market were Charlotte and Atlanta, both legitimate population centers nearest the center.
So a tourism boost? Possible, but the more realistic expectation would be to give the locals of KY and VA something to do.