For Immediate Release
August 16, 2011

Contact: Ryan Smith
(919) 645-2676

10.72 Million Visitors Spend $1.54 Billion in 2010

Raleigh, NC – Two nationally respected travel and travel research organizations have released 2010 numbers in terms of total visitation and visitor spending in Wake County. D.K. Shifflet and Associates calculated approximately 10.72 million travelers visited Wake County in 2010 while the United States Travel Association (USTA) shows those visitors contributed more than $1.54 billion into the local economy.

According to D.K. Shifflet and Associates, the number of visitors to Wake County is 10.72 million with a current breakdown of 67.6% leisure and 32.4% business and an even further breakdown as 5.99 million daytrip visitors and 4.73 million overnight visitors.

“We continue to see positive growth in both leisure and business travel, almost reaching 2008 figures,” said Denny Edwards, president and CEO of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Our convention sales, marketing and sports marketing teams continue aggressive marketing efforts in all visitor segments which has a direct effect on these impressive numbers.”

Visitor spending in the Capital City area generated more than $124 million in state ($80.76 million) and local ($44.11million) tax receipts last year, according to USTA. Equally important to note, visitor tax revenues actually save resident taxes, as visitor tax receipts also are used for education, school construction, water, sewer and other necessities. If these tax revenues were not generated by visitors, the local taxpayers would need to provide the same revenue if the current level of service and amenities in Wake County were to be maintained.

In 2010 tax revenues from visitor spending saved Wake County households $260.20 in state taxes and $142.10 in local taxes for a total of $402.30 savings.

More than 18,000 people are employed in the hospitality industry in Wake County representing an estimated $490 million in payroll income. More than 183,000 jobs throughout North Carolina are attributed to tourism.

The word “visitor” represents more than just tourists. In addition to leisure visitors, it includes business travelers, convention delegates, day-trippers, families on weekend getaways, and people visiting the area for specific reasons ranging from shopping and dining to cultural and sporting events.

These statistics are from the “2010 Economic Impact Of Travel On North Carolina Counties.” The study was prepared for the North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development by the U.S. Travel Association.