RALEIGH, NC (WITN) Record visitor spending in 2017 was reflected with visitor spending increases in all 100 counties, N.C. Secretary of Commerce Anthony M. Copeland said Thursday.
Visitor spending reached nearly $5.4 billion in Mecklenburg, $2.3 billion in Wake, $1.4 billion in Guilford and $1.1 in Buncombe and Dare counties. Rounding out the top 10 counties for visitor spending were Forsyth ($898 million), Durham ($814 million), New Hanover ($578 million), Brunswick ($563 million) and Cumberland ($542 million). The data comes from an annual study commissioned by Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.
Domestic visitors spent a record $23.99 billion statewide in 2017, an increase of 4.2 percent from 2016. State tax receipts as a result of visitor spending topped $1.2 billion in 2017, and local tax revenues directly resulting from visitor spending totaled $738.6 million. Visitor expenditures directly supported 225,700 jobs and generated more than $6.0 billion in payroll income across North Carolina.
The largest percent increases in visitor spending were seen in Polk (8.3 percent), Hyde (8.2 percent), Henderson (7.1 percent), Pitt (6.6 percent) and Buncombe (6.6 percent) counties. Beaufort and Forsyth counties followed with a 6.4 and 6.1 percent increase respectively. Rounding out the top 10 in largest increases were Alamance (6.0 percent), Bertie (5.9 percent and Pamlico (5.7 percent).
The visitor spending study commissioned by Visit North Carolina is conducted by the U.S. Travel Association. The study uses sales and tax revenue data, employment figures and other industry and economic data to determine the overall impact of visitor spending in North Carolina.