-All Virginia regions saw increased tourism revenue while Virginia reached $23 billion-

Boydton, VA (September 9, 2016) - Data released by the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) reveals that all regions in Virginia posted an increase in tourism revenue last year.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, tourism in Virginia generated $23 billion in travel spending. Tourism also supported 223,000 jobs in the Commonwealth and $1.6 billion in state and local taxes. The increase is largely

attributed to Virginia’s authentic, local travel experiences, diversity of tourism product, and the notable efforts of the destination marketing organizations and their leadership.

Tourism was again an important contributor to the local economy in 2015. Tourism revenue for Mecklenburg County reached $130.9 million, a 3.0 percent change over 2014. Local tourism-supported jobs totaled 1,394 while local tourism-related taxes collected in Mecklenburg were $9.9 million. All data was received by the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) from U.S. 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.

“We are very excited at the strong growth Tourism saw in 2015 and the numbers from Virginia Tourism Corporation reinforce what we have heard from our local tourism partners,” said Jacob Bower, Mecklenburg County Tourism Coordinator. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with hardworking local businesses and communities to further promote the distinct features of our area.”

"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 Virginia’s top five industries, and is an instant revenue generator for the Commonwealth,” said Todd Haymore, Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “With $23 billion in tourism revenues, 2015 was another record-breaking year for the Virginia tourism industry, thanks to the hard-working professionals across the state that help to showcase Virginia as a premier travel destination.”

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.
Love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Go to http://www.virginia.org/ and start planning a trip or call 1-800-VISITVA to request a free, Virginia is for Lovers Travel Guide.

Learn more about things to do and places to see within the VGA region at virginiasgreatadventures.com
The Virginia Tourism Corporation 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.

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