Jonathan Freeze

Raleigh, NC - The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (GRCVB) announced today that Wake County welcomed 12.41 million travelers in 2012 and that these visitors contributed $1.9 billion in spending to the local economy last year.

The GRCVB independently contracted with two nationally respected travel and tourism research organizations, D.K. Shifflet & Associates and Tourism Economics, to provide key tourism statistics.

Visitor spending in the capital city area generated more than $191 million in state ($95 million) and local ($96 million) tax revenues last year. By generating these revenues, visitors saved each Wake County household $571. These 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 revenue if the current level of service and amenities in Wake County were to be maintained.

"We are thrilled to have welcomed more than 12 million travelers to our area last year," said Denny Edwards, president and CEO of the GRCVB. "This impressive figure shows that tourism continues to thrive in our area and is an important economic driver in our community. We anticipate continued growth over the next year as our convention sales, marketing and sports marketing teams continue to aggressively market our area as a premier destination for leisure, business and sports."

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 $574 million in payroll income in 2012. In 2012, more than 22,000 people were directly employed in the county's hospitality sector, an increase of 13.4% over 2009, versus 6.2% more jobs overall in Wake County during the same time period. Nearly 900 additional jobs per year since 2009 have been directly added in the tourism sector.

The word "visitor" represents more than just vacationers. In addition to leisure visitors, it includes business travelers, meeting and convention delegates, day-trip visitors, families on weekend getaways and people visiting the area for specific reasons ranging from shopping to health care to sporting events.
Additional tourism and visitor expenditures data for Wake County can be found on the GRCVB website at


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,, and other tools, the GRCVB assists local visitors in a variety of ways.