Data released by the U.S. Travel Association this week pointed to Loudoun’s tourism industry as an economic engine for the entire state.
According to a report from the Virginia Tourism Corporation, in 2017, Loudoun ranked third among Virginia localities in visitor spending, bringing in almost $1.8 billion, up 4.6 percent from 2016. Tourism also supported 17,497 jobs and generated $695.4 million in wages, up 4.8 percent.
“This was another record-breaking year for Loudoun tourism and we once again ranked third out of 133 localities in the Commonwealth,” Visit Loudoun President and CEO Beth Erickson stated. “Loudoun is unique in its diversity of product. Our equestrian experiences, craft-beverage and restaurant scene, agriculture and historic attractions and outdoor recreation assets, make us a very attractive destination to leisure and business travelers as well as those coming to Loudoun for sporting events, meetings or weddings.”
In addition to increased travel spending, tourism-related state tax receipts for Loudoun in 2017 were about $47.2 million, up 3.3 percent, and local tax receipts were at $27.9 million, up 2.8 percent.
“While Visit Loudoun’s marketing and sales efforts continue to position Loudoun as a ‘must visit’ destination, we are also supported by a community that recognizes the economic and quality of life benefits that come from sharing our home with visitors,” Erickson said.
According to the US Travel Association, tourism in across the state generated almost $25 billion in travel spending in 2017. Tourism also supported 232,000 jobs in the Commonwealth and $1.7 billion in state and local taxes.
The increase is largely attributed to Virginia’s tourism development across the state like new hotels, restaurants, agritourism, craft breweries, wineries, distilleries, cideries, sports, outdoor recreation, festivals, and music venues.
“Virginia’s tourism industry is an important diversifier for our economy as it continues to grow and flourish in multiple regions of our Commonwealth,” stated Governor Ralph 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.”
The Virginia Tourism Corporation receives its annual economic impact data from the U.S. Travel Association. The information is based on spending by the visitors from the United States from per-person trips taken 50 miles or more away from home.
“Our tourism industry is an important and vital component of economic growth and job creation in Virginia,” stated 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 Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency responsible for marketing Virginia to visitors and promoting the Virginia is for Lovers brand, the longest-running state tourism slogan in the country. Virginia is for Lovers will celebrate 50 years next year, has been 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.