Tourism Statistics for North Carolina

Dec. 7, 2016

  • Tourism is one of North Carolina's largest industries. In 2015, domestic travelers spent a record $21.9 billion across the state, a 3 percent increase over 2014.
  • 54.6 million people visited North Carolina in 2015. Nationally, North Carolina ranks sixth in visitation.
  • Domestic tourism expenditures directly supported 211,490 jobs for North Carolina residents.
  • Payroll income accounted for $5.2 billion in wages paid to North Carolinians.
  • Traveler spending generated more than $2.9 billion in tax receipts:
    • $1.6 billion in federal taxes
    • $1.78 billion in state and local taxes:
      • $1.1 billion in state tax revenue
      • $661 million in local tax revenue

Top Activities for NC Overnight Visitors in 2015

Visiting relatives

Shopping

Visiting friends

Beach

Fine dining

Rural sightseeing

Historic sites/churches

Urban sightseeing

State Park/Monument/Recreation Area

Museum

Old Homes/Mansions

Wildlife Viewing

NNational Park/Monument/Recreation Area

Fishing

Gardens

Casino/Gaming

Local/Folk Arts/Crafts

Other Nature (Photography, Rockhounding, etc.

Craft Breweries

Art Galleries

Sports Event

Zoos/Aquarium/Aviaries

Hiking/Backpacking

Nightclubs/Dancing

 

29%

26%

18%

16%

16%

15%

11%

11%

 9%

 8%

 7%

 7%

 5%

 5%

 5%

 5%

 5%

 5%

 4%

 4%

 4%

 4%

 4%

 4%

Top States of Origin for NC Overnight Visitors in 2015

North Carolina

South Carolina

Virginia

Georgia

Florida

New York

Tennessee

Pennsylvania

44.7%

  8.4%

  8.0%

  6.1%

  4.7%

  3.1%

  3.0%

  2.7%

For more information about tourism in North Carolina go to partners.visitnc.com/research.