Martinsville – Data released by the United States Travel Association (USTA) reveals that all regions in Virginia posted an increase in tourism revenue last year.
According to the US Travel Association, tourism in Virginia generated $26 billion in travel spending. Tourism also supported 235,000 work opportunities for Virginia communities and contributed $1.8 billion in state and local taxes. The increase is largely attributed to Virginia’s tourism promotion and development efforts all around the state, including: 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 so much more. Virginia’s changing tourism industry make the Commonwealth a destination for authentic travel experiences and vibrant communities.
Tourism is at a record level in Virginia, and visitor spending has continued to grow year after year. With continued increase in mobility, more sophisticated technology, and changing demographics, travel demand is at an all-time high. Travelers are seeking unique experiences in their leisure time, and view travel as an important factor for their quality of life.
Tourism was again a critical contributor to the local economy in 2018. Tourism revenue for Martinsville – Henry County reached $74.3 million, a 4.9 percent change over 2017. Local tourism-supported jobs totaled 773 while state and local tourism-related taxes were $4.8 million. 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.
“Virginia’s tourism industry had a banner year in 2018, hitting new records and making important impacts on our communities across the Commonwealth,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Virginia is for Lovers and the tourism industry’s continued growth this year, we also celebrate the people who impact and influence our communities with their vision, passion, and love for the tourism industry. Our industry is made up of creative, hard-working, and dedicated professionals, and they work every day to make our communities more vibrant and dynamic. They help to make Virginia the best place to live, work, and visit, and are our most powerful ambassadors for Virginia is for Lovers.”
According to Beth Stinnett, Assistant Director of Tourism for Martinsville-Henry County, “We are delighted to say that tourism revenue, jobs supported, and taxes generated have continued to increase over the past several years for Martinsville – Henry County.” She added, “This data shows the direct impact that tourism-related attractions, events and amenities has on our community and the significance of tourism.”
The Virginia Tourism Corporation receives its annual economic impact data from the U.S. Travel Association. The information is based on domestic visitor spending (travelers from within the United States) from per-person trips taken 50 miles or more away from home. Detailed economic impact data by locality is available on www.vatc.org under Research.
The mission of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation is to create new job opportunities and expand the tax base for the area. The organization strives to support and develop local industry, as well as market Martinsville-Henry County globally as an exceptional place to live, work and play. The EDC is a public-private partnership between the City of Martinsville, Henry County, the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber’s Partnership for Economic Growth (C-PEG) and the Harvest Foundation of the Piedmont.