Tourism Revenues in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Reached $850 Million in 2017

According to the U.S. Travel Association, tourism in Virginia’s Blue Ridge generated $850 million in direct travel expenditures in 2017 an increase of 4.5% over the previous year.

Tourism also supported 7,945 jobs in the region and $28 million in local taxes.

The increase is largely attributed to product development, including: new hotels, restaurants, enhanced transportation options, craft beverages, sports, outdoor recreation, festivals and events, the diversity of arts and culture, wedding venues, meeting and conference venues, attractions and so much more. Virginia’s Blue Ridge continues to thrive as a mountain vacation destination.

Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, along with the support of over 1,400 industry partners and the investment provided by the Cities of Roanoke and Salem and the Counties of Roanoke, Franklin, and Botetourt, was able to achieve the 8th consecutive year of RECORD growth. “Regional collaboration has been the key to our success. Tourism is BIG business and notably an economic driver for our region,” said Landon Howard, President of Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

On the state level Virginia’s tourism revenues had another record-breaking year in 2017 by reaching $25 billion, a 4.4 percent increase over 2016. This spending supported 232,000 jobs, $5.9 billion in salaries and wages, and $1.73 billion in state and local taxes. All Virginia localities saw an increase in travel expenditures in 2017 compared to previous year.

Arlington County received nearly $3.3 billion in domestic travel expenditures leading all of Virginia’s 133 counties and independent cities. Fairfax County followed Arlington County closely, ranking second with $3.2 billion. Loudoun County ranked third with $1.8 billion; Virginia Beach City, fourth with $1.6 billion and Henrico County, fifth with $916 million.
44 of Virginia’s 133 counties and independent cities received more than $100 million in domestic travel expenditures in 2017. 43 counties and independent cities in Virginia realized one thousand or more jobs that were directly supported by domestic travelers during 2017.
The travel industry in the Commonwealth has continued to grow eight years in a row since the Great Recession, which officially lasted from December 2007 to June 2009. Travel expenditures increased at a compound annual growth rate of 3.9% since 2010.

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