Hopefully they are coming to Rappahannock County, but either way Gov. Ralph Northam announced this week 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.
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.
Just last week, it was reported that nearly 1.5 million visitors to Shenandoah National Park in 2017 spent $95.8 million “in communities near the park.” That spending also supported 1,204 jobs in the area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $126 million.