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2018 Visitor Spending Figures Announced for Jackson County

County Spending by Domestic Visitors Increases by 5.3 Percent to $205.81 Million

JACKSON COUNTY, N.C. (August 15, 2019) — Visit North Carolina announced today that domestic visitors to and within Jackson County spent $205.81 million in 2018, an increase of 5.3 percent from 2017.

“The Jackson County Tourism Development Authority and its partners are incredibly proud of the significant increases we saw in 2018,” said Nick Breedlove, Executive Director of the Jackson County TDA.

“Our hard-working team has immense passion for Jackson County and its residents; the increase in visitor spending from $195.44 million to $205.81 million in one year shows that the work that we put in on a daily basis matters. The dedication of our many partners – accommodations, restaurants, visitor centers, artisans, small businesses, and outdoor attractions shines through in the quality experience we provide to our visitors every day. We’re able to create memorable experiences and provide gracious hospitality for our visitors and in return, sustain existing jobs and create new ones and keep the local economy thriving.”

Breedlove also singles out the TDA Board of Directors, both past and present, for their dedication to the county. “Board members, past and present, have set us up for success,” he said. We’ve grown visitor spending by $30 million in three years,” Breedlove said, adding that with growth comes the need to manage and plan for that growth. The TDA last year embarked on its first Visitor Profile and Strategic Plan to guide its future board priorities. That plan, which was approved in June, is already being implemented.

“Visitors spend over $563,000 a day in Jackson County,” Breedlove said. That cash goes into local businesses cash registers and supports local jobs. The JCTDA’s efforts put people to work, grow jobs, build community, and make our towns a vibrant place to live, play and work.

Tourism impact highlights for 2018:

  • The travel and tourism industry directly employs almost 1,890 people in Jackson County.
  • Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Jackson County was $50.87 million.
  • State tax revenue generated in Jackson County totaled $11.34 million through state sales and excise taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income.
  • $9.5 million in local taxes were generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses.

“The $9.5 million in local tax receipts (paid by visitors) comes back to Jackson County’s budget and helps fund public schools, fire departments, law enforcement, health & human services and more,” Breedlove said. As a result of visitor spending, residents save $464.01 annually in taxes.

Governor Cooper announced in May that visitors to North Carolina set a record for spending in 2018. The $25.3 billion in total spending represented an increase of 5.6 percent from 2017.

These statistics are from the “Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2018,” which can be accessed at The study was prepared for Visit North Carolina by the U.S. Travel Association.

“The numbers confirm the strength of North Carolina’s tourism industry as an anchor of economic development,” said Wit Tuttell, executive director of Visit North Carolina. “As the No. 6 state in the country for overnight visitation, we can attribute our success to the natural beauty and authenticity that visitors experience, and to a passionate effort to inform and inspire travelers. The money they spend benefits everyone by sustaining jobs and reducing our residents’ tax burden.”

Statewide highlights include:

  • State tax receipts as a result of visitor spending rose 4.7 percent to more than $1.3 billion in 2018.
  • Visitors spend more than $69 million per day in North Carolina. That spending adds $5.64 million per day to state and local tax revenues (about $3.5 million in state taxes and $2.1 million in local taxes).
  • The travel and tourism industry directly employees more than 230,000 North Carolinians.
  • Each North Carolina household saves on average $532 in state and local taxes as a direct result of visitor spending in the state.

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