Virginia reached $30.3 billion in visitor spending, returning to pre-pandemic levels
Waynesboro, VA – Visitor spending for Waynesboro reached $73 million, a 9.1% percent increase over 2021. The tourism industry provides annual City tax revenue of $3.5 million and supports 803 jobs.
According to the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC), tourism in Virginia generated $30.3 billion in visitor spending in 2022, an increase of 20.3% from 2021, exceeding 2019 levels by 4.4%. The tourism industry in Virginia directly supported 210,721 jobs in 2022, an increase of more than 25,000 jobs relative to 2021, but still down about 30,000 jobs relative to 2019. All data is from Tourism Economics and is based on visitor spending from trips taken 50 miles or more away from home.
“The tourism sector is a vital driver for economic growth, especially here in the Shenandoah Valley and Waynesboro,” said Stephanie Duffy, Project Manager for Economic Development & Tourism for the City of Waynesboro. “As travelers visit our beautiful area, they are spending money on lodging, in restaurants and retail shops and generating tax revenue for the city. We are continually working with partners to create new opportunities for visitors to enjoy the area and patronize our establishments.”
The leading tourism sectors in Virginia are recreation and food & beverage, which have exceeded 2019 levels by 10%. Transportation, specifically air travel, has had a slower rebound but was the fastest growing tourism sector in 2022, aiding the Commonwealth’s regions that are more dependent on-air travel. With the additional marketing dollars that came through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, Virginia and its localities continued to see growth in visitor spending.