Wilmington, NC: Kim Hufham, President/CEO of the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority, is pleased to share positive news announced today by N.C. Secretary of Commerce Anthony M. Copeland. Tourism spending by domestic visitors to the state and to New Hanover County increased in 2017, according to an annual study commissioned by Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.
The annual county-by-county tourism economic impact study reveals that visitor spending rose in all 100 North Carolina counties, while 90 percent of the state's counties saw direct tourism employment growth during 2017. New Hanover County was among the counties that experienced an increase in visitor spending in 2017, with a county-wide economic impact from domestic travel estimated at approximately $578.22 million, representing a 4.32% increase over 2016 expenditures. New Hanover maintains its rank as number 8 among North Carolina's 100 counties in tourism expenditures.
The study also reveals that in 2017 Travel and Tourism directly provided more than 6,320 jobs in New Hanover County that supported a payroll of $141.30 million. Travel and Tourism in our county also generated $51.58 million in state and local tax receipts. Travel-generated state and local tax revenues saved each New Hanover County resident an estimated $226.98.
“We are pleased to report that tourism spending and direct tourism employment for New Hanover County increased in 2017, representing our seventh consecutive record-breaking year,” states Kim Hufham. “We are further encouraged that New Hanover County Room Occupancy Tax [ROT] collections for fiscal year 2017/2018 also experienced growth. Based on ROT reports for fiscal year July 2017 through June 2018, countywide collections were up 3.52% over prior year, setting a new ROT record for the seventh consecutive year, with over $12.9 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. Domestic visitors to and within North Carolina spent a record $23.99 billion in 2017, an increase of 4.2% percent from 2016. The study also reveals that state tax receipts, as a result of visitor spending, topped $1.2 billion in 2017.
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.