Tourism Revenue Grew in Martinsville-Henry County in 2011
Governor Bob McDonnell's recent announcement that tourism in Virginia became a $20 billion industry in 2011 was good economic news not just for the Commonwealth as a whole. Data released by the United States Travel Association reveals that every locality in Virginia posted an increase in tourism revenue last year
According to the USTA, tourism in Virginia generated $20.4 billion in revenue, an eight percent increase over 2010. Tourism also supported 207,000 jobs in the Commonwealth and provided $1.32 billion in state and local taxes. In terms of those numbers tourism is the third largest industry in Virginia.
Tourism was again an important contributor to the local economy in 2011. Tourism revenue for Henry County reached $42.72 million, a 6.4 percent increase over 2010 and City of Martinsville reached $19.04 million, a 7.7% increase over 2010. Local tourism supported 720 jobs while local tourism-related taxes were $1.81 million in the County and $0.89 million in the City. All data was received by the Virginia Tourism Corporation from USTA and is based on domestic visitor spending (travelers from within the United States) from per person trips taken 50 miles or more away from home.
According to Jennifer Doss, Director of Tourism for Martinsville-Henry County, "This increased revenue in our community is a result of all sectors of the local tourism industry working together to provide unique sporting events and festivals, a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities and high quality arts and culture offerings." Doss added, "Each person that a visitor encounters has a profound effect on whether that visitor will ever visit again and what they will tell others about their trip. By providing interesting attractions, comfortable lodging, memorable dining and excellent customer service our community can work together to transform Martinsville-Henry County into a tourist destination."
"The support that we've received from the Governor's administration and the General Assembly has been essential to keeping tourism strong - especially during challenging economic times," said Rita McClenny, interim president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. "This new economic impact data shows that the investment is paying off and that Virginia's tourism industry is headed in the right direction."
The Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) 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 stands for love - pure and simple, 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 ten tourism marketing campaigns of all time by Forbes and was inducted into the National Advertising Walk of Fame in 2009. Virginia was recently named one of the top 10 wine travel destinations in the world for 2012 by Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
The Virginia tourism Web site, http://www.virginia.org/, is one of the most visited in the nation and features destinations, events, travel packages and special offers from throughout the state. The VTC distributes more than 700,000 Virginia Travel Guides each year and sees more than two million visitors at the Virginia Welcome Centers statewide.
The Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation's (EDC) Tourism & Film Division operates a state certified Visitor Center at 54 West Church Street in Martinsville. It is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The local tourism website, http://www.VisitMartinsville.com works in partnership with the state tourism website utilizing a data share to display items relevant to the local community.
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.