Record-Breaking Wake County Tourism Numbers Released
RALEIGH, N.C. (June 24, 2015) - It was another record-setting year for tourism in Wake County with the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau reporting that 14.3 million domestic travelers visited the Raleigh area in 2014, an increase of 7.7 percent over 2013. These travelers also contributed $2.2 billion in direct spending to the local economy.
The GRCVB independently contracted with two nationally respected travel and tourism research organizations, D.K. Shifflet & Associates and Tourism Economics, to estimate key tourism statistics.
Tourism to the capital city area generated more than $219 million in state and local sales tax revenues last year. By generating these revenues, area visitation saved each Wake County household more than $627. Tourism-generated tax receipts are used for education, school construction, water, sewer and other necessities as well as quality-of-life amenities for residents. If these tax revenues were not generated by visitors, local taxpayers would need to provide the same funding if the current level of service and amenities in Wake County were to be maintained.
Wake County set records across all key performance indicators throughout 2014, including an average hotel occupancy rate of 67.9 percent (a year-over-year increase of 6.7 percent), as well as a 5.5-percent year-over-year increase in area hotels' average daily rate (to $91.31). Lodging tax collections totaled $20.26 million, up 13 percent year-over-year, and prepared food and beverage collections rose nine percent in 2014, amounting to $23 million.
"To have another record-breaking year for tourism in Wake County is phenomenal, and I can't foresee any slowdown in the near future," said Denny Edwards, president and CEO of the GRCVB. "Numbers like these only prove that tourism is a huge economic driver in our community."
Tourism continues to be one of the largest employment sectors in Wake County and is leading the way in Raleigh's economic recovery with above average job growth and an estimated $656 million in labor income paid to local hospitality sector employees in 2014. In 2014, more than 24,461 local jobs were sustained directly by visitation to the Raleigh area.
The word "visitor" represents more than just vacationers. In addition to leisure visitors, it includes business travelers, meeting and convention delegates, day-trippers, families on weekend getaways and people visiting the area for specific reasons ranging from shopping to health care to sporting events.
About Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau
The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, as the official destination marketing organization of Raleigh and Wake County, accelerates sustainable economic growth and development by increasing visitor and convention business. Through its website, visitRaleigh.com, and other tools, the GRCVB assists local visitors in a variety of ways.