Tourism Revenue in Virginia is Recovering
According to a press release from the Virginia Tourism Corporation, Virginia’s tourism revenues in 2021 were $25.2 billion, an 87% recovery to pre-pandemic spending in 2019. This is according to the 2021 Annual Economic Impact Study of Virginia’s tourism industry.
Travelers to Virginia spent $69 million a day in 2021, up from $48 million in 2020. This spending supported 185,000 jobs, $7.1 billion in salaries and wages, and $1.8 billion in state and local taxes. Tourism spending saved each Virginia Household about $776 in additional state & local tax collections in 2021. Eighty of Virginia’s 133 localities fully recovered to 2019 levels of spending and many grew even further. Specifically, Coastal Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley, and the Blue Ridge Highlands regions contributed most significantly to the overall recovery in the Commonwealth.
Virginia has recovered significantly from the pandemic, but the recovery has been uneven across geography and travel sectors. While the initial onset of the pandemic had a devastating impact on the travel industry in 2020, domestic leisure travel saw a robust return in 2021 as travelers sought outdoor experiences and drivable destinations. Virginia is uniquely positioned geographically and is within a day’s drive from nearly half of the U.S. population. It is expected that spending will fully reach 2019 levels in 2022.
According to the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s report on Direct Visitor Impacts for Localities, in Bath County, direct visitor spending in 2021 was $51.0 million in lodging and $16.4 million in food and beverage. The total spending across all categories was $80.9 million. That generated $4.1 million in local taxes.
In Highland County, direct visitor spending in 2021 was $.3 million in lodging and $.3 million in food and beverage. The total spending across all categories was $1.7 million. That generated $.1 million in local taxes.
You can learn more about Virginia’s tourism revenues at www.virginia.org