HB2 Didn't Stop Tourists In 2016

May 16, 2017

House Bill 2 apparently did not dampen tourism in 2016.

North Carolina recorded a record $22.9 billion in visitor spending last year, according to figures recently put out by the Department of Commerce.

That’s an increase of 4.3 percent from 2015 and supported more than 218,000 tourism jobs, according to commerce.

“Nearly 50 million people from across the United States visited North Carolina destinations last year,” state Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland said in a statement announcing the results. “The money they spent supported 218,340 jobs and more than 45,000 businesses.”

The figures are from research commissioned by Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC), and conducted by the U.S. Travel Association.

Governments benefitted as well as tourism spending brought $1.2 billion in tax receipts, according to the study.

Other points from the study include:

  • Domestic travelers spent a record $22.91 billion in 2016, up from $21.96 billion in 2015 – an increase of 4.3 percent
  • Direct tourism employment in North Carolina increased 3.2 percent, to 218,340
  • Direct tourism payroll increased 5.9 percent, to nearly $5.6 billion
  • Visitors spent more than $62.7 million a day in North Carolina, on average.
  • More than 45,000 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.

Total visitor spending, and visitor spending per tourist through the years.
Credit N.C. Department of Commerce / Jason deBruyn

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