Tourism revenues rise in Shenandoah Valley in 2017

Shenandoah Valley tourismThe Shenandoah Valley Tourism Partnership, a collaborative effort among 11 tourism offices up and down the Valley, reported tourism spending in 2017 in excess of $1.45 billion and local tax revenues of $43.2 million.

Collectively, this tourism spending represents a 3.9% year-over-year increase across the Valley.

This spending can be felt at the household level across the region. As a result of the taxes generated by tourist spending in the Shenandoah Valley, the average household spent $543 less in local and state taxes in 2017. In other words, if tourism did not exist, each of the 195,223 households in the Shenandoah Valley would have to pay an average of $543 more in state and local taxes to replace the taxes generated by tourist spending.

Other highlights of the report include data showing that tourism in the Shenandoah Valley generated 13,667 jobs in 2017, produced $278.6 million in worker income & paychecks, and that tourism spending has increased 15% since 2013.

The data, which is released by the United States Travel Association (USTA) is based on domestic visitor spending from trips taken 50 miles or more away from home.

“Virginia’s tourism industry is an important diversifier for our economy as it continues to grow and flourish in multiple regions of our Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “Travelers are coming to Virginia from across the country and the globe to experience our rich historic attractions, unmatched outdoor recreation offerings, eight oyster regions, world-class food and craft beverages, beautiful landscapes, and exciting arts and culture. These visitors are spending millions of dollars a day, injecting critical funds back into our community coffers and helping to make Virginia the best place to live, work, and raise a family.”

“Our tourism industry is an important and vital component of economic growth and job creation in Virginia,” said Brian Ball, Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “As the tourism sector continues to grow and new product is developed, our communities across the state become even more dynamic and vibrant. Tourism is fortifying towns and cities across the Commonwealth, engaging and unifying our communities, and making it easy to for travelers to discover for themselves why Virginia is for Lovers.”

The Shenandoah Valley Tourism Partnership, which formed in 2016, includes 11 tourism offices: Augusta County, Clarke County, Front Royal & Warren County, Harrisonburg, Buena Vista & Rockbridge County, Page County, Rockingham, Shenandoah County, Staunton, Waynesboro, and Winchester & Frederick County. The Shenandoah Valley, which begins at the top of Virginia, is approximately 140 miles long with the Blue Ridge to the east and the Alleghenies to the west. Well known as a peaceful and scenic destination, Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley also offers world-class outdoor adventures, scenic roads, authentic mountain towns, underground caverns, fascinating historic sites and unique lodging. Each member region within the partnership individually posted an increase in tourism revenue as well.

For a video on Virginia’s record-breaking year, click here.

The Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency responsible for marketing Virginia to visitors and promoting the Virginia is for Lovers brand. Virginia is for Lovers is the longest-running state tourism slogan in the country. Virginia is for Lovers will celebrate 50 years next year, and promotes the state as the ideal destination for loved ones to completely connect on a great vacation. Virginia is for Lovers was named one of the top 10 tourism marketing campaigns of all time by Forbes and was inducted into the National Advertising Walk of Fame in 2009.

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