Tourism in Richmond Region up 4.5%, nets $2 billion in revenue

RVA proved to be sizable money maker for the state in 2012.

Earlier this week, Gov. Bob McDonnell announced that Virginia tourism netted the state $21 billion in 2012. Here in Richmond, tourism revenue reached just over $2 billion, a 4.5 percent increase over 2011. Nearly 21,000 employees were supported by local tourism, with $56 million in local tourism-related taxes raised.

More in the release:

Governor Bob McDonnell recently announced tourism in Virginia became a $21 billion industry in 2012. Data released by the U.S. Travel Association reveals that every locality in Virginia posted an increase in tourism revenue last year – with tourism in Virginia generating $21.2 billion in revenue, a four percent increase over 2011.

According to U.S. Travel, tourism also supported 210,000 jobs in the Commonwealth and provided $1.36 billion in state and local taxes. Tourism is the third largest industry in Virginia.

Tourism revenue for the Richmond Region reached $2,017,271,304, a 4.5% percent increase over 2011. Local tourism-supported jobs totaled 20,901 while local tourism-related taxes were $56,421,135. All data was received by the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) from the U.S. Travel Association and is based on domestic visitor spending (travelers from within the United States) from per person trips taken 50 miles or more away from home.

“Coming off a record year of hotel sales, this great economic news is no surprise to us,” said Richmond Region Tourism President and CEO Jack Berry. “The Richmond Region continues to gain the attention of national media, sports tournaments and meeting planners, and throngs of leisure visitors as an accessible, affordable and innovative destination.”

“Tourism plays a key role in our economic development and growth in the Commonwealth, providing valuable jobs for citizens and stimulating business of all sizes,” said Governor McDonnell. “During my administration, I have made tourism a fundamental part of my economic development initiatives. The data released today shows once again that tourism provides a tremendous return on investment, and continues to provide jobs—210,000 of them—to the citizens of Virginia.”

“Tourism is an instant revenue generator for the Commonwealth. 2012 was a banner year for travel and hospitality in Virginia, and we were pleased to see such continued improvement in our tourism economy,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of VTC. “Tourism is a driving force of Virginia’s economy–it creates jobs, generates economic impact, and benefits businesses and communities across the state. We are fortunate to have a governor and members of the General Assembly who recognize the importance of investing in an industry that continues to grow and strengthen our economy.”

Richmond Region Tourism and its partners have worked together to ensure the Region’s visitor numbers continue to grow at a steady rate. With a thriving culinary scene that is garnering national acclaim, the recent buzz surrounding the Washington Redskins Training Camp and the highly anticipated Hollywood Costume exhibit coming up at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), the Richmond Region continues to establish its role as a not-to-be-missed destination.

photo by Nick Ares

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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

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