Governor McDonnell Announces Tourism Revenues Exceeded $20 Billion in 2011
– New statewide data shows 8 percent increase over 2010 with every locality in Virginia posting an increase in revenue –
RICHMOND - Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that visitors to Virginia generated $20.4 billion in revenue from tourism in 2011, an eight percent increase over 2010. In 2011, tourism in Virginia supported 207,000 jobs, an increase of nearly two percent in employment, and provided more than $1.32 billion in state and local taxes. 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.
"These new figures highlight the importance of continuing to invest in tourism as an instant revenue generator for Virginia," said Governor McDonnell. "Virginia's tourism industry is bringing in more than $20 billion in revenue and providing more than 207,000 jobs for Virginians across the state. I've made tourism a key part of my administration's economic development initiatives and it's encouraging to see the positive return on investment."
The Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) 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. Virginia was also recently named one of the top 10 wine travel destinations in the world for 2012 by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Last week, Virginia.org was honored with the Mercury Award for Best Travel Web Site among states by the National Council of State Tourism Directors.
"The support that we've received from the Governor's administration and the General Assembly has been essential to keeping tourism strong - especially during challenging economic times," said Rita McClenny, interim president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. "This new economic impact data shows that the investment is paying off and that Virginia's tourism industry is headed in the right direction."
The Virginia tourism Web site, http://www.virginia.org/, is one of the most visited in the nation and features destinations, events, travel packages and special offers from throughout the state. The VTC distributes more than 700,000 Virginia Travel Guides each year and sees more than two million visitors at the Virginia Welcome Centers statewide.
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. Connect with Virginia on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/VirginiaisforLovers or on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/VisitVirginia. Watch the Virginia is for Lovers TV commercial at www.youtube.com/VisitVirginia.
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