Tourism continues to increase in the Richmond region. Data released by the United States Travel Association (US Travel) and commissioned by the Virginia Tourism Corporation reveals that Richmond Region Tourism partner localities – including the counties of Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent and Powhatan, the town of Ashland and the city of Richmond – generated nearly $2.6 billion in travel spending in 2018, representing a 5% increase compared to the same timeframe in 2017. Spending was bolstered by vigorous growth in annual visitors, totaling 7.7 million people last year.
With record-level growth, all of Virginia’s 133 counties and independent cities saw an increase in tourism compared to the previous year, resulting in $26 billion in travel spending statewide. Henrico County once again ranked fifth in the state for total domestic travel expenditures, with $964 million grossed.
Tourism data for 2018 within the Richmond Region Tourism footprint is listed below:
All data was received by the VTC from US Travel and is based on domestic visitor spending (travelers from within the United States) from trips taken 50 miles or more away from home.
“Tourism is a powerful economic engine for our region and boosts quality of life,” said Jack Berry, Richmond Region Tourism President & CEO. “Through innovative marketing and sales, the Richmond Region Tourism team works throughout the year to market the region to leisure travelers and meetings, conventions and tournaments. We’re excited to see the tourism industry’s continued growth and the positive impact it has on our community.”
For the first time, as reported in July, the collective occupancy tax for hotels in Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico and Richmond climbed past the $30 million mark in 2018, a total that marks a near 50 percent increase in just six years and a year-over-year jump of 2.06 percent.
“Once again, we’re seeing strong metrics for hotel and motel occupancy across the region,” said Parker Agelasto, Richmond Region Tourism board chairman. “The region’s authentic culture, rich history, and award-winning food scene, along with a growing list of sporting events and large conventions, help drive this notable growth.”
Tourism in the region supported the livelihood of more than 24,000 people through the creation of jobs in 2018 and generated more than $170 million in state and local taxes. Statewide, tourism resulted in 234,000 jobs and $1.78 billion in state and local taxes.