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Loudoun County’s booming tourism industry increased by 4.6 percent in 2017 to $1.8 billion, according to the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
New statewide data showed that all Virginia localities saw increased tourism revenue, and that Loudoun contributes the third-most among any jurisdiction in the state, ahead of acclaimed tourist destinations like Virginia Beach, Williamsburg and Skyline Drive.
More importantly, domestic tourism to Loudoun also supports 17,497 jobs (adding 222) and generated $695.4 million in worker wages, up 4.8 percent over last year.
In addition to increased travel spending, tourism-related state tax receipts for Loudoun in 2017 were about $47.2 million, up 3.3 percent, and local tax receipts were at $27.9 million, up 2.8 percent.
“This was another record-breaking year for Loudoun tourism,” Visit Loudoun President and CEO Beth Erickson stated in a press release. “Loudoun is unique in its diversity of product.”
A study released in 2017 shows that Northern Virginia generates the most agri-tourism revenue of all 10 state regions, contributing more than $552 million to Virginia’s $2.2 billion agri-tourism industry.
Loudoun farm businesses make up 51 percent of the Northern Virginia’s agri-tourism venues researched for the report. The county is home to more than 40 wineries and more than 30 craft breweries, both figures that lead Virginia.
“Our equestrian experiences, craft-beverage and restaurant scene, agriculture and historic attractions and outdoor recreation assets, make us a very attractive destination to leisure and business travelers as well as those coming to Loudoun for sporting events, meetings or weddings,” Erickson said.
Domestic tourism is defined as American visitors who travel 50 miles or more, but does not attempt to capture Loudoun’s nearly 7.8 million international travelers through Dulles International Airport.
Across the Commonwealth, tourism revenues reached $25 billion, supported 232,000 jobs, $5.9 billion in salaries and wages, and $1.73 billion in state and local taxes. Tourism is Virginia’s fifth-largest employer.