2018 Year-End Tourism Industry Report
Monday, February 11, 2019, 7am
Wake County hospitality industry has one of the best years on record. Outperforms state averages and brings in record breaking tax collection amounts.
Raleigh, N.C. (Feb. 11, 2019) – The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Raleigh) has released the 2018 Year-End Tourism Industry Report. Wake County hotels outperformed their 2017 marks as well as exceeded the state averages across all key performance indicators in 2018. Additionally, hotel occupancy as well as prepared food and beverage tax collections both saw record amounts. Rooms sold in Wake County increased 6.1% over 2017 and future bookings made by Visit Raleigh and Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance (GRSA) specifically totaled 375 groups representing more than 271,000 room-nights and creating an estimated direct economic impact across Wake County of $194.4 million.
In 2018 according to the Smith Travel Research occupancy went up 1.7% over 2017, Average Daily Rate (ADR) grew 3.4% and Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) increased 5.1%. This means occupancy rates across Wake County continue to outperform both the state and national averages, and Wake County hotels also continue to outpace the state averages for ADR and RevPAR.
Wake County hospitality industry KPIs – according to the Smith Travel Research:
2018 YTD (January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018)
During the fourth quarter of 2018 (October 1, 2018 – December 31, 2018) Visit Raleigh and the GRSA combined to host 80 conventions, sporting events and groups and welcomed more than 169,000 attendees to Raleigh, N.C. The quarter was capped off by hosting the visitRaleigh.com Showcase Series over four weekends in Nov. and early Dec. This annual elite-level youth soccer event put on by North Carolina FC Youth brought in 70,000+ attendees for more than 32,000 total room nights across the county.
A busy fourth quarter was highlighted by a few key conventions, sporting events and groups impacting overnight visitation including:
- Campus Outreach New Year’s Conference; 1,600 attendees
- N.C. Community College Systems Conference; 3,500 attendees
- Relias Learning’s Impact Nation 2018; 15,000 attendees
- NCFC Youth’s visitRaleigh.com Showcase Series; combined attendance of 72,250
- N.C. High School Athletic Association Football State Championships; 8,000 attendees
- Raleigh LaxFest; 4,000 attendees
“2018 was a banner year in terms of the hospitality industry’s performance across the board in Wake County,” said President and CEO, of Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Raleigh), Dennis Edwards. “All signs point to 2019 continuing an upward trajectory as the hospitality industry and visitation across Wake County remain very healthy. The desirability of Raleigh, N.C. as a place to visit, live, work and invest continues to grow.”
With visitation growing to more than 16 million visitors annually, hotel lodging tax collections totaled almost $28 million and prepared food and beverage tax collections totaled more than $30 million in 2018.
The fourth quarter was also productive in booking future conventions, sporting events and groups in Wake County. Together Visit Raleigh and GRSA booked 73 groups totaling more than 106,000 room-nights of future business. At the close of 2018 Visit Raleigh and GRSA combined booked 375 groups for more than 271,000 room-nights, creating a direct economic impact of $194.4 million.
Future meetings, conventions and sporting events booked during the fourth quarter include:
- International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass Business Conference and Wide Open Bluegrass Street Festival: Sept. 24-28, 2019; combined attendance of 152,500 attendees
- American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association’s Annual Meeting: April 25-May 2, 2021; 800 attendees
- Special Operations Medical Association Scientific Assembly: May 8-15, 2020 and May 6-12, 2022; 1,000 attendees each year
- Deep South Classic: April 25-28, 2019; 13,500 attendees
- All Star Challenge Cheer and Dance Competition: Feb. 2-3, 2019; 8,600 attendees
- Mid-Atlantic Power League Raleigh: March 2-3, 2019; 5,300 attendees
About the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Raleigh):
The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Raleigh), as the official destination marketing organization of Raleigh and Wake County, accelerates sustainable economic growth and development by increasing visitor and convention business. Raleigh, N.C./Wake County welcomes more than 16 million visitors annually whose spending tops $2.5 billion. The visitor economy supports more than 26,170 local jobs in Wake County and generates more than $250 million in state and local tax revenues, saving each Wake County household $671 in taxes annually. VisitRaleigh.com.
About the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance (GRSA)
A division of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Raleigh) - the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance (GRSA) markets and promotes Raleigh and all of Wake County in order to generate and/or retain sports-related businesses (tournaments, championships, special events and meetings) for the purpose of economic development. Raleigh, N.C./Wake County welcomes more than 16 million visitors annually whose spending tops $2.5 billion. The visitor economy supports more than 26,170 local jobs in Wake County and generates more than $250 million in state and local tax revenues, saving each Wake County household $671 in taxes annually. raleighsports.org
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