RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam announced today that Virginia’s tourism revenues reached $25 billion in 2017, a 4.4 percent increase over 2016. In 2017, tourism in Virginia supported 232,000 jobs—an increase of 1.1 percent compared to 2016. The tourism industry also provided $1.73 billion in state and local revenue, an increase of 2.8 percent compared to 2016. The travel industry is the fifth largest employer in Virginia.
In 2017, domestic travelers spent $68 million a day in Virginia, which represents a 4.4 percent increase over 2016. Domestic travel-supported employees in Virginia earned nearly $5.9 billion in payroll income during 2017, representing a 4.8 percent increase from 2016.
“Virginia’s tourism industry is an important diversifier for our economy as it continues to grow and flourish in multiple regions of our Commonwealth,” said Governor 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.”
“Our tourism industry is an important and vital component of economic growth and job creation in Virginia,” said 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, which will celebrate 50 years in 2019. Virginia is for Lovers is the longest-running state tourism slogan in the country.
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 vatc.org/research.