Data released by the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) reveals that all regions in Virginia posted an increase in tourism revenue last year.
According to the US Travel Association, tourism in Virginia generated $24 billion in travel spending. Tourism also supported 230,000 jobs in the Commonwealth and $1.7 billion in state and local taxes. The increase is largely attributed to Virginia’s tourism development all around the state, including: new hotels, restaurants, agritourism, craft breweries, wineries, distilleries, cideries, sports, outdoor recreation, festivals and events, music venues, wedding venues, meeting and convention venues, attractions and so much more. Virginia’s changing tourism product makes the Commonwealth a destination for authentic travel experiences and thriving communities.
Tourism was again an important contributor to the local economy in 2016. Travelers to Montgomery County and the towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg spent $143.8 million. This was a 3.1 percent increase from 2015.
Local hospitality and tourism jobs totaled 1,401, while local tourism-derived tax revenue reached just over $9 million in combined state and local taxes.
All data was received by the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) from US Travel Association and is based on domestic visitor spending (travelers from within the United States) from trips taken 50 miles or more away from home.
“Tourism metrics for Montgomery County have steadily grown since the adoptions of a strategic tourism marketing approach in 2013, said Lisa Bleakley, Director of the Montgomery County Virginia Regional Tourism Office. We have created many promotional tools with our visitors in mind. Most recently, a county-wide visitor guide was produced for distribution throughout the destination and beyond. We want it to be easy for our visitors to enjoy themselves, whether it be an outdoor adventure, arts and entertainment, or simply a pleasant night’s sleep and a great meal in a beautiful setting!”
“As the one of Virginia’s largest private sector industries, tourism represents $24 billion in economic impact and contributes $1.7 billion in state and local taxes, injecting critical dollars into our communities statewide,” said Todd Haymore, Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “The tourism industry supports local businesses, services, and infrastructure, and is an important contributor to job creation. Communities all across Virginia continue to develop new tourism product, making the Commonwealth one of the most exciting and compelling destinations in the world.”
The Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency responsible for marketing Virginia to visitors and promoting the Virginia is for Lovers brand. Virginia is for Lovers is the longest-running state tourism slogan in the country.
Virginia is for Lovers stands for love, pure and simple, and promotes the state as the ideal destination for loved ones to completely connect on a great vacation. Virginia is for Lovers was named one of the top 10 tourism marketing campaigns of all time by Forbes and was inducted into the National Advertising Walk of Fame in 2009.