Tourism revenue reached $41.9M in Smithfield, IW County

Published 10:24 pm Friday, September 7, 2018

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Data released by the United States Travel Association 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 $25 billion in travel spending. Tourism also supported 232,000 jobs in the Commonwealth and $1.73 billion in state and local taxes. The increase is largely attributed to Virginia’s tourism development all around the state, including: new hotels, restaurants, agritourism, craft breweries, wineries, distilleries, cideries, sports, outdoor recreation, festivals and events, music venues, wedding venues, meeting and convention venues, attractions and so much more. Virginia’s changing tourism product makes the Commonwealth a destination for authentic travel experiences and thriving communities.

Tourism was again an important contributor to the local economy in 2017. Tourism revenue for Smithfield and Isle of Wight County reached $41,928,500, a 5-percent change over 2016. Local tourism-supported jobs totaled 407 while local tourism-related taxes were $953,438. Payroll taxes (direct wages, salaries and tips corresponding to the direct travel-related employment) totaled $8,422,225, and State Tax Receipts totaled $2,020,498. All data was received by the Virginia Tourism Corporation 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.

“The tourism industry had a robust 2017 in Smithfield and Isle of Wight County with the Tourism department receiving the Virginia Tourism Corporation ‘Trailblazer Award’ and a Virginia Association of Destination Management Organization Virgo Award for its Smithfield Rocks promotion”, reported Judy Winslow, director of tourism for Smithfield and Isle of Wight County. “Plus we have certainly been discovered by the production industry, installed our very own LOVE works sculpture, continued to award and reward Smithfield and Isle of Wight front-line Hospitality Heroes, and continue to host and be a part of some incredible special events that drive tourism and economic uplift in our community.”

“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 Gov. Ralph 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. “Virginia is for Lovers” is the longest-running state tourism slogan in the country.”Virginia is for Lovers” will celebrate 50 years next year, 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.