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Record visitor spending in North Carolina brought $21.3 billion

Staff writer ▼ | May 8, 2015
North Carolina tourism generated record visitor spending in 2014 with a total of $21.3 billion, a 5.4 percent increase over 2013.
North Carolina tourists
Tourism   A 5.4 percent increase over 2013 in N.C.
Tourism industry supported employment topped 200,000 jobs for the first time. In addition to topping the 200,000 mark for the first time, the 3.3 percent growth in tourism jobs was the largest increase in 14 years.

In other North Carolina findings by the U.S. Travel Association, state tax receipts as a result of visitor spending rose 3.9 percent to more than $1 billion. Visitors spent more than $58 million per day in North Carolina last year and contributed more than $4.6 million per day in state and local tax revenues as a result of that spending.

Domestic travelers spent a record $21.3 billion in 2014, up from $20.2 billion in 2013. That’s an increase of 5.4 percent. Visitors to North Carolina generated more than $3.2 billion in federal, state and local taxes in 2014.

State tax receipts as a result of visitor spending rose 3.9 percent to nearly $1.1 billion in 2014. The increase comes a year after receipts topped the $1 billion mark for the first time. Local tax receipts from visitor spending grew 5.8 percent to $636.1 million.

Direct tourism employment in North Carolina increased 3.3 percent, to 204,800. This was the largest growth since 2000 and marks the first time direct tourism employment has topped 200,000. Direct tourism payroll increased 7.1 percent to $4.9 billion.

Visitors spend more than $58 million per day in North Carolina. That spending adds more than $4.6 million per day to state and local tax revenues (about $2.9 million in state taxes and $1.7 million in local taxes).

Each North Carolina household saves $455 in state and local taxes as a direct result of visitor spending in the state. More than 44,000 businesses in North Carolina directly provide products and services to travelers, with travelers directly contributing more than 26 percent to their total products and services.

For every $1 invested in paid media advertising by Visit North Carolina (a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina), the state receives $184 in new visitor spending, $9 in new state taxes and $6 in new local taxes.

For every $1.21 invested by the Division of Tourism is paid media advertising, one trip is generated to the state. North Carolina enjoys a 15-to-1 return on investment of tax dollars invested in paid media advertising through the Division of Tourism.