2017 shows record visitor spending in county
SPRUCE PINE – Data from an annual study by Visit North Carolina, a division of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, shows visitor spending in Mitchell County increased in 2017.
Mitchell County saw a 4.5 percent increase in tourism expenditures over the previous year with visitor spending topping $24 million in the county. Also, local tax revenues directly resulting from visitor spending in the county totaled $1.06 million. Visitor expenditures directly supported close to 200 jobs and generated nearly $4 million in payroll income across the county, according to the study.
“We are happy to see our efforts to promote Mitchell County continue to show record results,” said Patti Jensen, director of Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce. “Mitchell County showed the largest year-over-year increase of all of the counties in our region including McDowell, Avery, Madison, Yancey and Watauga.
Jensen noted the implementation of the county’s new strategic marketing plan and the public relations efforts by the Chamber to promote the county in regional and national publications have contributed to more visitors coming to the area.
“The Chamber has worked to implement the county’s new marketing plan and is also developing new rack cards for each town as well as new promotional videos to highlight each town’s unique assets,” she said. “A new tourism website, as well as social media programs, have been developed and enhanced over the past year as well. We place ads in regional and national publications and purchase billboard space to promote the county, but we also focus on sharing stories about the area for possible editorial coverage in magazines and online articles.”
Jensen also praised the efforts of the towns, communities and tourism businesses in Mitchell County.
“As a small county, our success depends on everyone working together to help our area grow and attract more visitors,” she said. “We are very fortunate to live where we do, and it is an honor to promote our beautiful area.”
Domestic visitors spent a record $23.99 billion statewide in 2017, an increase of 4.2 percent from 2016. State tax receipts as a result of visitor spending topped $1.2 billion in 2017, and local tax revenues directly resulting from visitor spending totaled $738.6 million. Visitor expenditures directly supported 225,700 jobs and generated more than $6.0 billion in payroll income across North Carolina.
The U.S. Travel Association conducts the visitor spending study commissioned by Visit North Carolina. The study uses sales and tax revenue data, employment figures and other industry and economic data to determine the overall impact of visitor spending in North Carolina.
More information and the complete economic impact study for 2017 is available at https://partners.visitnc.com/economic-impact-studies.