Tourism revenue reached $217.8M in Nelson County in 2019

nelson countyTourism expenditures for Nelson County reached $217,790,832, a 3.2 percent increase over 2018.

Local tourism-supported jobs totaled 1805, increasing 3.5 per cent while local tourism-related taxes were $6,271,656, a 3.1 per cent increase.

According to the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC), tourism in Virginia generated $27 billion in visitor spending in 2019. The tourism industry also supported 237,000 jobs for Virginia communities and provided $1.8 billion in state and local revenue.

Virginia ranks 8th in the nation for domestic travel spending. All data is from the U.S. Travel Association and is based on domestic visitor spending from trips taken 50 miles or more away from home.

The travel industry in the Commonwealth has continued to grow 10 years in a row with a compound annual growth rate of 3.9 percent since 2010.

The government response to COVID-19 put the Virginia travel and tourism industry in crisis, and imposed a devastating strain on Virginia’s hotels, restaurants, attractions, and communities. The pandemic caused decreased revenue and a reduced workforce, while some businesses have been forced to shutter temporarily if not completely.

As a result, early numbers for 2020 project a sharp decrease in tourism spending.

“Because the Nelson County economy relies so heavily on tourism revenues, the pandemic has been and continues to be top of mind for county officials and staff,” Nelson County Board of Supervisors Chairman Tommy Harvey said.

In March and April, county leaders focused on getting the best information to the businesses and helping them access the federal funding programs being released as well as assist interpreting the executive orders and the affects to their business operations.

In April, the board passed an emergency ordinance for 100 percent tax relief for personal property tax and machinery and tools for June 5, totaling $2,051,542.

In addition to that, the State Personal Property Tax Relief Funds made the total relief just over $2.8 million.

“There is good news, though,” Harvey said. “Tourism-related businesses most affected by the health crisis have reported that in most cases, Labor Day revenues were double that of Memorial Day, Currently, we are rolling out the Nelson CARES 2020 small business assistance grant program, with a total of $350,000 dedicated to assisting Nelson businesses.”


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