[Jan 10, 2018, 8:49 PM]
RALEIGH, N.C. — Record visitor spending in 2018 was reflected with visitor spending increases in all 100 counties, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. Visitor spending reached nearly $5.7 billion in Mecklenburg, $2.4 billion in Wake, nearly $1.5 billion in Guilford, $1.2 billion in Buncombe and nearly $1.2 in Dare counties. Rounding out the top 10 counties for visitor spending were Forsyth ($951 million), Durham ($859 million), New Hanover ($613 million), Brunswick ($599 million) and Cumberland ($574 million). The data comes from an annual study commissioned by Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.
Domestic visitors spent a record $25.3 billion statewide in 2018, an increase of 5.6 percent from 2017. State tax receipts as a result of visitor spending neared $1.3 billion in 2018, and local tax revenues directly resulting from visitor spending totaled $774.6 million. Visitor expenditures directly supported more than 230,000 jobs and generated more than $6.3 billion in payroll income across North Carolina.
“North Carolina’s tourism industry set a new record last year in visitor spending despite the effects of the storms,” said Governor Cooper. “This is a testament to the lasting beauty of our state and the determination of our people.”
Noting that North Carolina ranks sixth in the nation for overnight visitation, Visit NC Executive Director Wit Tuttell said the spending growth in all 100 counties confirmed the appeal of the state’s destinations. “There’s a lot of competition for travelers’ time and money,” Tuttell said. “But people come to North Carolina when they know about the state’s natural beauty, our residents’ welcoming spirit, and the irresistible mix of tradition and innovation.”
The visitor spending study commissioned by Visit North Carolina is conducted by the U.S. Travel Association. The study uses sales and tax revenue data, employment figures and other industry and economic data to determine the overall impact of visitor spending in North Carolina. Highlights include:
Full tables are can be accessed at partners.visitnc.com/economic-impact-studies. For more information about the travel impact numbers, contact Visit North Carolina.