WAYNESBORO – Data released by the United States 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 $26 billion in travel spending. Tourism also supported 235,000 work opportunities for Virginia communities and contributed $1.8 billion in state and local taxes. The increase is largely attributed to Virginia’s tourism promotion and development efforts 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 industry make the Commonwealth a destination for authentic travel experiences and vibrant communities.
Tourism is at a record level in Virginia, and visitor spending has continued to grow year after year. With continued increase in mobility, more sophisticated technology, and changing demographics, travel demand is at an all-time high. Travelers are seeking unique experiences in their leisure time, and view travel as an important factor for their quality of life.
Tourism was again an important contributor to our local economy. Tourism revenue for the City of Waynesboro reached $ 37,487,675, a 3.3% change over 2017. Local tourism-supported jobs totaled 371 while local tourism-related taxes were $ 1,220,526.
“We’re excited to see continued tourism growth. We are realizing the impact of local venues such as the Wayne Theatre, Basic City Beer Company, and Blue Ridge Bucha, our proximity to the Shenandoah National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Appalachian Trail, plus our ongoing state and regional partnerships, said Director of Economic Development and Tourism, Greg Hitchin. “We are continuing to pursue projects such as the Virginia Natural History Museum, the Blue Ridge Children’s Museum, the South River Preserve, and Sunset Park that will provide new and exciting cultural and recreational amenities for citizens and visitors alike.”
“Virginia’s tourism industry had a banner year in 2018, hitting new records and making important impacts on our communities across the Commonwealth,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Virginia is for Lovers and the tourism industry’s continued growth this year, we also celebrate the people who impact and influence our communities with their vision, passion, and love for the tourism industry. Our industry is made up of creative, hard-working, and dedicated professionals, and they work every day to make our communities more vibrant and dynamic. They help to make Virginia the best place to live, work, and visit, and are our most powerful ambassadors for Virginia is for Lovers.”
The Virginia Tourism Corporation receives its annual economic impact data from the U.S. Travel Association. The information is based on domestic visitor spending (travelers from within the United States) from per-person trips taken 50 miles or more away from home. Detailed economic impact data by locality is available on www.vatc.org under Research.
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