The Virginia Tourism Corporation announced that Virginia’s tourism industry generated $27 billion in visitor spending in 2019, a 3.4% increase over 2018. In 2019, tourism in the Commonwealth supported 237,000 jobs for Virginia communities—a 0.9% increase from 2018. The tourism industry also generated $1.8 billion in state and local revenue, an increase of 3.9% compared to 2018. Virginia ranks eight in the nation for domestic travel spending.
“Travel and tourism play an indispensable role in our economy, and 2019 year was another impressive growth year for Virginia,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “While we celebrate this record-breaking success, we must also acknowledge the immediate and damaging impacts of the pandemic on tourism, which will be reflected in the numbers next year. We know that a revived tourism industry will be crucial to our overall economic recovery and we remain committed to helping it bounce back and emerge from this crisis even stronger.”
In 2019, travelers spent $73 million a day in Virginia. The travel industry in the Commonwealth has continued to grow 10 years in a row, with a compound annual growth rate of 3.9% since 2010. However, these figures do not account for the devastating impact that COVID-19 has had on the tourism industry.
“The Virginia is for Lovers brand is highly recognizable and will be vitally important to bringing back travelers who have retreated due to the health crisis,” said Virginia Tourism Corporation President and CEO Rita McClenny. “I truly believe that it is travel that will help us move forward again as a Commonwealth and as a country when this pandemic has passed. But we must give this industry the tools they need to survive now in order to come out on the other side. Virginia Tourism and the power of the Virginia is for Lovers brand can help do that. And we must.”