Tourism proved to be a major part of the Virginia's Blue Ridge regional economy during 2011. Tourism revenue for Virginia's Blue Ridge (includes the cities of Roanoke and Salem and the counties of Roanoke, Botetourt, and Franklin) reached $703,610,000, an 8.2% increase over 2010. Local tourism-supported jobs totaled 7,160, while state and local tourism-related taxes were $50,940,000.
"Tourism is BIG business and we're pleased to see the healthy growth in this region, especially as we launch into marketing our new brand, Virginia's Blue Ridge," said Landon Howard, President of the Roanoke Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau. "The real credit goes to the valley's tourism industry and their commitment to working together to offer an excellent visitor experience."
According to the United State Travel Association (USTA), tourism in Virginia generated $20.4 billion in revenue, an 8% increase over 2010. Tourism also supported 207,000 jobs in the Commonwealth and provided $1.32 billion in state and local taxes. In terms of those numbers, tourism is the third largest industry in Virginia.
All data was received by the Virginia Tourism Corporation from the USTA and is based on domestic visitor spending (travelers from within the United States) from per person trips taken 50 miles or more away from home. Detailed economic impact data by locality is available on www.vatc.org under Research.