North Carolina keeps drawing tourists and their disposable dollars despite the recession.
Gov. Beverly Perdue on Monday touted a report by the U.S. Travel Association that said visitors spent a record $17 billion in North Carolina last year, up 9 percent from nearly $16 billion in 2009.
The number of visitors also increased to 36.8 million people in 2010, more than 2 percent more than 2009. That made North Carolina the sixth most-visited state in the country behind California, Texas, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania.
Perdue's office says the tourism industry is the bread and butter for more than 40,000 North Carolina businesses.
Perdue spoke Monday in Asheville at a conference on hospitality and tourism.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)