RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia reached $25 billion through tourism revenues in 2017, according to Governor Ralph Northam.
The $25 billion reached is a 4.4 percent increase from 2016. Virginia also supported 232,000 tourism jobs in 2017, an increase of 1.1 percent from 2016.
The travel industry is the fifth largest employer in Virginia, and in 2017, domestic travelers spent $68 million a day in the commonwealth. 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.”
The agency in-charge of marketing Virginia to visitors and promoting its slogan ‘Virginia is for Lovers’ brand, is the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
The ‘Virginia is for Lovers’ slogan celebrates 50 years in 2019, and is the longest-running state tourism slogan in the country, according to the governor’s office.
“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 receives its annual economic impact data from the U.S. Travel Association.