Henrico County captured $915.9 million in spending by domestic travelers during 2017, the most of any locality in central Virginia and the fifth-highest total in Virginia, according to a study for the Virginia Tourism Corp released this week.
Tourist spending in Henrico increased by 4.1 percent over its total for 2016, tracking with the statewide increase of 4.4 percent. Among Virginia localities, tourism spending in Henrico trailed only the totals for the counties of Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun and the city of Virginia Beach.
The total reflects spending on food, lodging, transportation, entertainment, retail and other services by travelers from the United States who had stayed overnight in paid accommodations or had taken day or overnight trips at least 50 miles from home.
In 2017, tourism in Henrico supported nearly 8,600 jobs with a combined payroll income of $223.7 million. It also generated tax receipts of $28.2 million for the county and $34.0 million for the state.
Overall, Virginia attracted $24.8 billion in visitor spending, which supported 232,223 jobs and provided $1.7 billion in state and local taxes. Regionally, Henrico and seven neighboring localities combined to attract nearly $2.5 billion in visitor spending, supporting 24,400 jobs with a payroll of $574 million.
Henrico launched the Visit Henrico County initiative in 2013 to attract leisure travelers as well as national and regional tournaments to its athletic fields and complexes.
In 2017, Henrico’s parks and sports complexes hosted 150 tournaments and other events, which generated an estimated $47.3 million in local spending, according to the Division of Recreation and Parks.
In addition to its historic sites and sports complexes, the county’s leading attractions include Richmond Raceway, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Three Lakes Park and Nature Center, and the Dabbs House and Meadow Farm Museums.
The U.S. Travel Association compiled the tourism data for the Virginia Tourism Corp. The full report is available at vatc.org.
Explore one of the points of interest referenced in our Must-See RVA series below.