Wilmington, NC: Kim Hufham, President/CEO of the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority, is pleased to share positive news announced yesterday by the EDPNC and Visit North Carolina. Tourism spending by domestic visitors to the state and to New Hanover County increased in 2016, according to the “Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2016,” a study prepared for Visit North Carolina by the U.S. Travel Association.
The annual county-by-county tourism economic impact study reveals that visitor spending rose in 96 percent of North Carolina Counties during 2016. New Hanover County was among the counties that experienced an increase in visitor spending in 2016, with a county-wide economic impact from domestic travel estimated at approximately $553.60 million, representing a 6.3% increase over 2015 expenditures. New Hanover maintains its rank as number 8 among North Carolina's 100 counties in tourism expenditures.
The study also reveals that in 2016 Travel and Tourism directly provided more than 6,150 jobs in New Hanover County that supported a payroll of $129.81 million. Travel and Tourism in our county also generated $49.29 million in state and local tax receipts. Travel-generated state and local tax revenues saved each New Hanover County resident an estimated $220.88.
“We are pleased to report that tourism spending and direct tourism employment for New Hanover County increased in 2016, representing our sixth consecutive record-breaking year,” states Kim Hufham. “We are further encouraged that New Hanover County Room Occupancy Tax [ROT] collections for fiscal year 2016/2017 also confirm record growth. Based on ROT reports for fiscal year July 2016 through June 2017, countywide collections were up 12.99% over prior year, setting a new ROT record for the sixth consecutive year, with over $12.5 million 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 renourishment, 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 Roy Cooper announced in May that domestic and international visitors to and within North Carolina spent a record $22.9 billion in 2016, an increase of 4.4% percent from 2015. The study also reveals that state tax receipts, as a result of visitor spending, rose to nearly $1.2 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.