Thursday, April 18, 2024

Virginia Beach draws tourism, and it seems to be growing

(Southside Daily)
Virginia Beach Oceanfront. (Southside Daily)

VIRGINIA BEACH — Research recently released by U.S. Travel Association and Longwoods International indicated the travel and tourism industry here is strong and continues to grow at a steady pace.

USTA research released by the state’s tourism authority, Virginia Tourism Corporation, shows the city has experienced increases for the past five consecutive years (2014 – 2018) in several key economic impact classifications, according to a news release from the Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The bureau has aligned with VTC to share visitor expenditure data supplied by USTA, a 501(c)(6) organization representing all components of the travel industry, and the industry’s trusted source for national tourism and travel data.

Visitation research conducted by Longwoods International shows a record 20.2 million visitors traveled to Virginia Beach in 2018, a 6 percent increase from 2017. Overnight visitation grew to 10.5 million and day visitation reached 9.7 million. Key economic indicator increases for 2018 reported by USTA include:

  • Virginia Beach visitors spent a record $1.63 billion in 2018, an increase of 4.4 percentover 2017;
  • Local tax receipts grew 2.3 percent, exceeding $62.6 million;
  • State tax receipts reported in at $77.2 million,representing a nearly 3 percent increase;
  • Payroll for travel and tourism related jobs in Virginia Beach rose 3.5 percent.

“From Atlantic Avenue to Town Center and beyond, Virginia Beach offers a unique selling proposition as a vibrant coastal leisure, sports and business destination offering visitors a diversity of experiences. Our residents benefit year-round from increased entertainment and attraction options and a tax base that is subsidized thanks to the continuous growth of our tourism industry,” said Interim CVB Director Ron Kuhlman.

With Virginia is for Lovers celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, VTC took the opportunity to look back on historic economic impact data. The economic impact of travel in the state has grown from $1.3 billion ($8.6 billion in 2018 dollars) in 1969 to $26 billion in 2018, with a compound annual growth rate of 6.4 percent, officials said.

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