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Richmond area tourism spending tops $2.6 billion in 2018, new data show

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.

RVAHub Staff

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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.

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Downtown

Businesses Unite to Bring Change to Monument Avenue

“We believe inclusion is integral to the strength of our organizations, and that symbols antithetical to equality, equity, and unity harm our employees and community.”

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The Monument Commitment is a pledge by Richmond employers to work for change not only along Monument Avenue but in the community.

RVAHub is proud to stand with the businesses below.

If you would like to learn how to add your organization to this commitment email: [email protected]

The pledge reads:

Governor Northam, Mayor Stoney, City Council Members:

We are employers of the Richmond community.

We believe inclusion is integral to the strength of our organizations, and that symbols antithetical to equality, equity, and unity harm our employees and community.

We ask that you commit to support the respectful removal of all the confederate monuments on Monument Avenue in coming months, and do not repair – other than for public safety – the monuments as they currently stand.

For our part, we commit to confronting racism in our organizations and supporting you in eradicating systemic racism in our community.

It is time to take them all down.

Sincerely,

Please note we created this post on Friday morning and since businesses are being added constantly some businesses might not be on the list above. This is not a statement against those businesses just an inability to keep up. This link will give you the most current list of those that have made the commitment.

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Downtown

Wayback RVA — Old Pythian Hall and Mechanics Savings Bank

A Then & Now photo essay of Richmond places from around the area.

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Wayback RVA

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The Old Pythian Hall and Mechanics
Savings Bank, Mr. Jno. Mitchell Jr., Pres.

John Mitchell Jr. was aptly described as “a man who would walk into the jaws of death to serve his race.” Mitchell – newspaper editor, entrepreneur, city councilman and candidate for governor – was one of the most respected black leaders of his day. [RTD]

A fascinating individual. The Shockoe Examiner has an interesting post from 2012 about Mitchell’s grave in Evergreen Cemetery. Alas for the old bank building, it’s former location now rests under the Richmond Convention Center.


(Old Pythian Hall and Mechanics Savings Bank is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)


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Community

Black Bear’s Visit to Richmond Comes to a Safe End

No picnic baskets, bears, dogs, cats, or humans were harmed in today’s adventure.

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A black bear decided to explore Richmond today. First spotted on the Northbank Trail he later headed into town. Previous reports earlier in the week had the bear up near Pony Pasture. The picture above is from RACC Instagram which reported on the sedation and transportation of the bear.

We just received a call about a bear-and it really was a bear. Sometimes we laugh and arrive on scene with a giant Rottweiler, but nope-this was a real bear. We named him Fuzzy Wuzzy. Shout out to @richmondpolice for helping keep us safe and to @virginiawildlife for tranquilizing and relocating the bear out of the City!

Bear on Northbank this morning! from r/rva

Here he is in town.

Bear at Byrd and 5th from r/rva

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