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 a critical contributor to the local economy in 2018. Tourism revenue for Winchester & Frederick County reached a combined $273.6 million, a 5.6 percent increase over 2017. Local tourism-supported jobs totaled 2,496 while local tourism-related taxes were $8.5 million. Direct tourism spending in the Shenandoah Valley, which consists of 14 municipalities stretching from Winchester/Frederick County to Lexington/Rockbridge County, topped $1.5 billion. 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.
“The hard work and local passion of our businesses and attractions has a tangible return for our entire community,” said Justin Kerns, Executive Director of the Winchester-Frederick County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Through our promotion of the Winchester area as a leisure, wedding, business and sports destination, we are proud to be able to amplify the voice of our local community to visitors from around the world. The growth we’re seeing is a direct result of the combined efforts of the great community in which we live and represent.”
Visitor spending has a true impact on every resident in the area. As a result of taxes generated by tourist spending in Winchester and Frederick County, each of the combined 40,510 households pays $494 less in local and state taxes. In other words, if tourism did not exist, each household would have to pay $494 more in state and local taxes to replace the taxes generated by tourist spending.
The Winchester-Frederick County Convention and Visitors Bureau is a joint-funded destination marketing organization whose mission is to strengthen the area economy by marketing our city, county and communities as a destination, enhancing the visitor experience, and supporting tourism product development and advocacy. More information can be found at www.VisitWinchesterVA.com or by calling (540) 542-1326.
PubliCITY Episode S2.E6 - Local Tourism
Release Date: July 31, 2019