About this time every year, we all take time to give thanks for everything that we have been given. And about this time around the CVB, we take a moment to be grateful for visitors. In case you're wondering why, we can think of at least these 703 reasons.

Reason Number 1: 
If you are reading this blog, in all likelihood, you are employed in the hospitality industries in Raleigh/Wake County. It is good once in a while to remind ourselves that millions of visitors allow us to have the jobs we're passionate about. Our 2018 statistics tell us that 68,108 people in Wake County are employed in the leisure and hospitality sector. (Directly in the hospitality industries, the Wake County figures are 27,101 jobs sustained by visitor spending, representing $785.2 million a year in payroll.) And having a good job is always something to be genuinely grateful for.

Reason Number 2: 
The local tax revenues that come from the money that visitors spend here is reinvested in some of the venues and attractions, assets and amenities that make Raleigh, N.C., an enviable place to live and play. For example, visitor-related taxes forming the Interlocal Fund have been designated for Duke Energy Center for the Performing ArtsFive County StadiumFleming Loop ParkHalle Cultural Arts CenterMarbles Kids MuseumNorth Carolina Museum of ArtPNC ArenaRaleigh Convention CenterTing ParkUSA Baseball National Training ComplexWake Forest Renaissance Centre for the ArtsWakeMed Soccer Park and many more. If you are taking in a hockey game, an exhibit or a show this weekend, don't forget to tip your hat to the visitors who helped make it possible.

Reasons Number 3-703: 
Each of these 700 reasons represents a dollar that the average Wake County household saved on its own state/local taxes due in 2018 because of visitors funding the amenities above. Seven hundred dollars can go a long way to pay for gifts and other expenses during the holiday season. It's like visitors give us all a gift when they spend money here.

It is easy to forget gratitude for what we have, but we would miss these things if they were gone. Give a little thanks this year to those who spend time (and money) in Wake County to make so much possible for us.