RICHMOND — Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Virginia’s tourism revenues reached $23 billion in 2015, a 2.3 percent increase over 2014, and supported 222,600 jobs, an increase of 2.6% or 5,700 jobs compared to 2014. The tourism industry also provided $1.6 billion in state and local revenue, an increase of 5.6 percent. Virginia welcomed over 41 million visitors from all over the country in 2015.
In 2015, domestic travelers spent $63 million per day in Virginia. Domestic travel-supported employees in Virginia earned $5.3 billion in payroll income, representing a 3.9 percent increase over 2014. The largest increase in travel expenditures was in the lodging segment with a 7.4% increase compared to 2014.
“Having a strong tourism industry is vital to job creation and economic growth in Virginia,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Travelers are coming to Virginia from across the country and the globe to experience our world-class restaurants, wineries, craft breweries, music festivals, oyster farms, beaches, mountains, and more. Our rich history, scenic beauty, vibrant arts, and burgeoning culinary scene make Virginia a destination like none other. It’s easy to see why travelers are eager to discover why Virginia is for Lovers.”
“Tourism is one of the five largest industries in Virginia, and this report shows that travelers continue to contribute billions of dollars to our economy,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “This revenue stimulates economic growth across the Commonwealth, creating solid, good-paying jobs, helping to improve and grow Virginia communities and maintaining them as best places to live and work in the country.”
The Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency responsible for marketing Virginia to visitors and promoting the 47-year old 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.
The Virginia Tourism Corporation (virginia.org) 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.