Visitor spending tops $175 million in 2015 for Jackson County

Sylva, N.C. Aug. 18, 2016 – Visit North Carolina announced today that domestic visitors to and within Jackson County spent 175.92 million in 2015, an increase of 2.8-percent from 2014.

Jackson County homeowners recognize a savings of $1,123 annually in taxes as a result of visitor spending. Put another way, each Jackson County homeowner would pay that much more in taxes if not for tourists.

“This upward trend from 2015 reflects the efforts of many involved – our accommodation owners, restaurants, attractions and our strategic marketing programs,” Jackson County Tourism Development Authority Director Nick Breedlove said.

Tourism is an economic driver in Jackson County and a force behind job creation, he said. Tourism impact highlights for 2015:

-The travel and tourism industry directly employees more than 1,710 in Jackson County.

-Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Jackson County was $41.53 million.

-State tax revenue generated in Jackson County totaled $9.79 million through state sales and excise taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income. About $8.04 million in local taxes were generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel- supported businesses.

-In Jackson County, that means the average homeowner pays $1,123 less in taxes a year as a result of tourism expenditures locally.

Gov. Pat McCrory announced in May that visitors to North Carolina set a record for spending in 2015. The $21.96 billion in total spending represented an increase of 3 percent from 2014.

These statistics are from the “Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2015,” which can be accessed at partners.visitnc.com/economic-impact-studies. The study was prepared for Visit North Carolina by the U.S. Travel Association.

“All eight economic development regions of the state had spending growth of 2 percent or more, and 91 percent of the state’s counties saw direct tourism employment growth from 2014 to 2015,” said Wit Tuttell, executive director of Visit North Carolina. “Tourism continues to be major driver of economic development across North Carolina, which is the sixth most-visited state in the country.”

Statewide highlights include:

-State tax receipts as a result of visitor spending rose 6.1 percent to top $1.1 billion in 2015.

-Visitors spend more than $60 million per day in North Carolina. That spending adds nearly $4.9 million per day to state and local tax revenues (about $3.1 million in state taxes and $1.8 million in local taxes).

-The travel and tourism industry directly employees more than 211,000 North Carolinians.

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