Spending reached a new record of $1.3 billion in 2013, State topped $21.5 billion

(Virginia Beach, Va., Sept. 10, 2014) – Data released by the United States Travel Association shows the City of Virginia Beach had its best year for visitor spending on record in 2013. Spending reached a record high of $1.3 billion, a 1.9% increase from a 2012 record-setting year. The latest figures continue to position tourism as an important contributor to the city’s economy. Tourism-supported jobs totaled 12,257 while city and state tourism-related taxes derived from activity in Virginia Beach totaled $108 million. All data was received by the Virginia Tourism Corporation from U.S. Travel and is based on domestic visitor spending (travelers from within the United States) from trips taken 50 miles or more away from home. Jim Ricketts, director of the Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the 2013 figures were a great result for the Virginia Beach travel industry, largely driven by new product development efforts. “Expanding our efforts to bring in new tourism product continues to drive year-round overnight visitation growth and increased spending in our local economy,” said Ricketts. “This in turn creates both jobs for local residents and a better quality of life.” According to U.S. Travel, tourism in Virginia generated $21.5 billion in travel spending, an increase of 1.4% from 2012. Tourism also supported 213,000 jobs in the commonwealth and provided $842 million in state taxes and $581 million in local taxes. Every region in Virginia posted an increase in tourism spending last year. Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Tuesday that tourism “is an important industry that will continue to fuel the New Virginia Economy. Virginia continues to offer a dynamic, rich experience for visitors, which helps to make the commonwealth a better place to live, work and raise a family. Virginia’s tourism economy is an enormous asset for this commonwealth, and continuing to grow it is one of my top priorities.” Maurice Jones, secretary of commerce and trade, highlighted the diversity of Virginia as a mechanism to drive tourism. “Virginia is a uniquely attractive destination for visitors, offering a wide array of travel choices,” he said. “From hiking the Peaks of Otter, to strolling through historic cities and towns in Northern Virginia, to rafting across class IV rapids in our capitol city, the commonwealth offers everything you love about vacation. While Virginia presents an exciting experience for visitors, the tourism industry offers solid, good-paying jobs for our citizens and contributes billions to our economy.”