In 62 of 100 North Carolina counties, visitor spending increased in 2008 according to Governer Bev Purdue. Mecklenburg County lead all other counties in increased visitor spending, not surprisingly followed by Wake County and then Guilford County. This is good news, as jobs were actually created and maintained by the record setting $16.9 billion spent by out of state visitors here in North Carolina.
Gov. Bev Perdue announced today that 62 of the state’s 100 counties saw increases in visitor spending in 2008, including 16 counties that had increases of more than 5 percent.
Data from the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development showed domestic visitors to and within North Carolina spent a record $16.9 billion in 2008, an increase of 2.1 percent from 2007.
Visitor expenditures directly generated 190,500 jobs and nearly $4.2 billion in payroll income within North Carolina in 2008. Payroll increased 3.9 percent from 2007. Visitor spending in the state also directly generated close to $2.7 billion in tax revenue for federal, state and local governments in 2008, up 3.6 percent from 2007.
We know that current economic conditions are affecting businesses all across the state, including those in the tourism industry,” Gov. Perdue said. “But this continued economic growth, and especially growth in tax revenues, is encouraging.”
Onslow and Forsyth counties had the largest year-to-year increase in visitor spending by percentage from 2007 - 2008. Thirty five counties received over $100 million in domestic visitor spending.
Perhaps it might be a good idea for our legislature to take a look at these numbers, figure out where this spending is going on and see if they can't come up with a plan to get people to visit and spend money in Western North Carolina like they are in the Piedmont and Eastern coastal communities.
I have an idea! Why, they could kill two proverbial birds with one stone here. Why don't they set up beautiful windmills in the mountains where they could then advertise the Majestic Windmills of Western Carolina and while they are at it, save the area from more and more acid rain which is killing the ridge line views they are so worried about? I've seen those windmills, and they are majestic. It just takes putting forth the word about them in the correct light, and the next thing you know we have a double winner for the people of NC!