Tourism Spending by Domestic Visitors Increases in New Hanover County and Statewide;

New Hanover County Reports 5th Consecutive Record-Breaking Year

Wilmington, N.C. - Kim Hufham, President/CEO of the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority, announced today that tourism spending by domestic visitors to New Hanover County increased in 2015, according to a county-by-county tourism economic impact study released yesterday by Visit North Carolina.

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and Department of Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla, III announced yesterday that visitor spending rose in 91 of 100 North Carolina Counties during 2015. The “2015 Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties” annual study was prepared for Visit NC by the U.S Travel Association. The study reveals that in the year 2015 the economic impact from domestic travel in New Hanover County was estimated at approximately $520.86 million, representing a 2.55% increase over 2014 expenditures. New Hanover maintains its rank as number 8 among North Carolina's 100 counties in tourism expenditures. 

According to the study, in 2015 Travel and Tourism in New Hanover County directly provided more than 5,840 jobs that supported a payroll of $121.05 million. Travel and Tourism in our county also generated $46.17 million in state and local tax receipts. Travel-generated state and local tax revenues saved each New Hanover County resident an estimated $209.53.

“We are pleased to report that tourism spending and direct tourism employment for New Hanover County increased in 2015, representing our fifth consecutive record-breaking year,” states Kim Hufham. “We are further encouraged that New Hanover County Room Occupancy Tax [ROT] collections for fiscal year 2015/2016 also confirm record growth. Based on ROT reports July 2015 through June 2016, countywide collections were up 6.87% over prior year, setting a new ROT record for the fifth consecutive year, with over $11million in collections. When tourism revenues are up it not only means more jobs and a better quality of life for our local citizens, it also means more money to fund beach re-nourishment, the Wilmington Convention Center and other tourism-related projects.”

Travel and Tourism is an important economic generator that infuses millions of new dollars into our local economy each year. Travel and Tourism is also among the state’s fastest growing industries. Governor Pat McCrory announced that domestic and international visitors to and within North Carolina spent a record $21.9 billion in 2015, an increase of nearly 3% percent from 2014. The study also reveals that state tax receipts, as a result of visitor spending, topped $1.1 billion.

The New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority d/b/a Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization that stimulates economic development through the promotion of travel and tourism.