Data released by the United States Travel Association (USTA) reveals that every region in Virginia posted an increase in tourism revenue last year.
According to the US Travel Association, tourism in Virginia generated $22.4 billion in travel spending. Tourism also supported 216,900 jobs in the Commonwealth and $1.5 billion in local taxes, an increase of 5.6 percent compared to 2013. The increase is largely attributed to Virginia’s authentic, local travel experiences and surging culinary scene.
Tourism was again an important contributor to the local economy in 2014. Tourism revenue for Martinsville-Henry County reached $66,142,253, a two percent increase over 2013. Local tourism-supported jobs totaled 735 while local tourism-related taxes were $1,374,882. 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.
According to Jennifer Doss, Director of Tourism for Martinsville-Henry County, “We are delighted to see continued growth in the tourism industry. Our community partners have done an exceptional job in creating high quality events, exhibits and venues that visitors are willing to drive here for. We plan to continue partnering with them and pushing the marketing message onward that there is plenty to do in Martinsville-Henry County as this is a destination where you’ll have Fun in Record Time.”
"These new figures illustrate the importance of investing in tourism, an industry which is helping to build a new Virginia economy, creating solid, good-paying jobs for our residents,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe. “Travelers are coming to Virginia to experience our oysters, wine, craft beer and cider, as well as exceptional opportunities for outdoors lovers, history buffs, and people who just love adventure."
"Tourism is one of the five largest industries in Virginia, generating economic growth in all regions of the Commonwealth," said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.
"Today's news is excellent. What is even better is we have more opportunities for prosperity in this strategic sector. With continuing teamwork among state, local and private sector partners, we will capture to the fullest the benefits of our tremendous tourism assets."
“Tourism is an instant revenue generator for the Commonwealth, attracting millions of visitors every year looking to discover why Virginia is for Lovers,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “2014 was another exciting year for the travel and tourism industries in Virginia, and we are thrilled to see such continued improvement in our tourism economy. Tourism is a driving force of Virginia’s economy--it creates jobs, generates economic impact, and benefits businesses and communities across the state.”
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 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 10 tourism marketing campaigns of all time by Forbes and was inducted into the National Advertising Walk of Fame in 2009.