Visitor spending hits record $17.1B in N.C.

Posted August 5, 2008

— Visitor spending increased 7.4 percent across North Carolina last year, to a record $17.1 billion, according to information released Tuesday by the state Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development.

Wake County was one of six counties to register double-digit growth in visitor spending, with a 10.7 percent increase to almost $1.5 billion. Nash County saw the largest jump statewide at 12.7 percent, to $218 million.

All Triangle-area counties saw increased tourism spending, except for Lee County, which registered a 0.4 percent decrease.

“Our very important state tourism industry continues to grow, even as the national economy is struggling,” Gov. Mike Easley said in a statement. “Tourism is a key economic driver, particularly for several of our rural and urban counties, and plays a critical role in adding new jobs to our economy and supports our other economic development efforts.”

Domestic travelers' expenditures reached $16.5 billion, up 7.2 percent from 2006, while international travelers’ expenditures increased to $607 million, a 13.2 percent jump from the previous year.

Visitor expenditures created 198,900 jobs and nearly $4.2 billion in payroll income statewide last year. Employment increased 2.2 percent, and payroll jumped 4.3 percent from 2006.

Visitor spending also generated close to $2.7 billion in tax revenue for federal, state and local governments, up 4.6 percent from 2006.

The figures come from an annual study commissioned by the Division of Tourism and conducted by the Travel Industry Association. The study uses sales and tax revenue data plus employment figures to determine the overall impact of visitor spending in North Carolina.


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  • needham4444 Aug 5, 2008

    Wake Co., besides the pro soccer exhibition games, College Cup soccer tourney, concerts, Hurricanes and basketball, has museums, capitol and historical attractions. It is not amazing but has some reason for draw.

  • bluewind Aug 5, 2008

    Well, this is ALL because we have such a fantastic governor, who jaunts all over Europe to bring these tourist dollars to North Carolina. I don't know what we'd do without him!!! Yeah, right...

  • Mr. Smith Aug 5, 2008

    Doesn't everyone know we can attribute this SOLELY to the Easley's visits overseas to increase tourism in NC???

  • csmac99 Aug 5, 2008

    Wake County - Basketball, Baseball and Soccer tournaments. Can't think of anything else.

  • findoutthefacts Aug 5, 2008

    Nash County is also the halfway point between NY and Miami for those traveling on they hit the travelers from N and S as well as those traveling E and W to the Outer Banks...

  • Boot-the-DC-Tyrant Aug 5, 2008

    There are only 3 good places to go in NC...

    1. Ocean Isle Beach
    2. Beech Mtn.
    3. Cape Lookout

  • ThisIsMyName Aug 5, 2008

    Based on the way the "natives" talk, there should be signs at the entrance to this state that say... "Go away, we don't want you here."

  • HemiTodd Aug 5, 2008

    Do you suppose this money actually came from those who live in the respective counties and decided to stay close to home rather than travel any distance due to the price of gas?

  • Harvey Aug 5, 2008

    Where are all the people that swore that stopping the driving on the beach would crush the tourism industry?

  • gabby1 Aug 5, 2008

    Nash county is the stopping point for many heading to the OBX and that is ALL!