Tourism revenue tops $131M in Harrisonburg in 2018

Downtown Harrisonburg2018 was a big year for visiting the Friendly City.

The United States Travel Association recently released last year’s tourism numbers, which showed Harrisonburg bringing in roughly $131.4 million in tourism dollars for the local economy. That number, a 5.3 percent increase over 2017, mimics a statewide trend that saw all Virginia regions post an increase in tourism revenue.

The increase is welcome news for Harrisonburg, which has become a key tourist destination.

“Harrisonburg has so much to offer tourists: from a charming downtown, a wide array of shopping opportunities, a vibrant culinary scene to numerous museums and cultural opportunities,” Harrisonburg Tourism Manager Jennifer Bell said. “Visitors can stay in one of our many lodging facilities and enjoy exploring the lovely Shenandoah Valley and beyond. We have so much to offer and we continue to see private investment in tourism businesses which contributes to our strong growth in tourism revenue.”

Tourism plays an important role in Harrisonburg’s economy. Local tourism-supported jobs totaled 1,195 in 2018, while local tourism-related taxes were $4.8 million, a 3.2-percent increase from 2017.

It’s also vital for economies across the state. Tourism in Virginia generated $26 billion in travel spending in 2018, supporting 235,000 work opportunities and contributing $1.8 billion in state and local taxes. The increase is largely attributed to Virginia’s tourism promotion and development efforts, which include: new hotels, restaurants, agritourism, craft breweries, wineries, distilleries, cideries, sports, outdoor recreation, festivals and events, music venues, wedding venues, meeting and convention venues, attractions and more.

All data was received by the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) from US Travel Association and is based on domestic visitor spending (travelers from within the United States) from trips taken 50 miles or more away from home.

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