VIRGINIA BEACH — The 2017 study on domestic travel’s economic impact on Virginia state and its 13 counties and independent cities (county equivalents) has been released by the Research Department of the U.S. Travel Association for the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
Overall, Virginia Beach ranked fourth in the top five counties/cities, making $1.6 billion from domestic travelers.
In 2016 the city made $1.5 billion.
Virginia Beach also accounted for 6.3 percent of the state’s overall total for 2017.
These travel expenditures benefit county residents with $291.3 million in payroll income and 13,900 jobs in 2017.
In 2016 payroll was $277.9 million and 13,700 jobs were supported.
Based on a travel economic impacts report from the Virginia Tourism Corporation, the impacts have been on a steady rise since 2013.
The economic impact of the 2018 tourism season is yet to be compiled, but an exceptionally rainy summer in Virginia Beach may have dampened the outlook of hotels at the Oceanfront, said Russell Lyons, president of the Virginia Beach Hotel Association.
“Generally speaking, we were pacing for quite an unbelievable summer,” Lyons said, based on revenue from hotels he owns. However, “the onslaught of unseasonably rainy weather, particularly for 10 straight days in July, really put a damper on things.”
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Lyons also said “the threat of hurricane (Florence) and the media hype surrounding it” in September suppressed Virginia Beach tourism revenues across the board.
Here is the full Travel Economic Impacts Report from the Virginia Tourism Corporation for every Virginia locality.
Limitations on the study
According to the report, the Travel Economic Impact Model was developed by the research department at the U.S. Travel Association to provide annual estimates of the impact of the travel activity of U.S. residents on national, state and county economies in this country.
The report also acknowledges there is no commonly accepted definition of travel in use at this time so for the purposes of the report, travel is defined as activities associated with all overnight and day trips to visit places 50 miles away or more, one way, from home, or any overnight trips away from home in paid accommodations.
There are limitations to this study — the numbers being an impact estimate, the report indicated.
Two important classes of travel-related expenses have not been estimated because of various reasons: Purchases made in anticipation of the trip such as sports gear, language lessons, travel guides etc. and the purchase of major consumer durables generally related to outdoor recreation on trips.
To see the full 2017 report, click here.