Northern Virginia—September 17, 2019—Virginia Tourism Corporation announced last week that, according to data released by the U.S. Travel Association, the Virginia tourism industry generated a record $26 billion in visitor spending in 2018, a 4.4% percent increase over 2017. Northern Virginia as a region drives the majority of visitor spending with a collective economic contribution of $10.3 billion – featuring localities that are the first, second, and third highest contributors to the entire Virginia tourism industry.
The Northern Virginia Tourism Partnership (NVTP), comprised of the destination marketing organizations from the City of Alexandria and Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William, is responsible for creating and implementing promotional marketing campaigns that attract international and domestic visitors. NVTP has been harnessing the power of regionalism for more than a decade with the goal of fulfilling the visitors’ needs and expectations to the greatest degree possible by allowing a seamless travel experience throughout the region.
As one of the leading industries in the Commonwealth, tourism and travel in Northern Virginia is responsible for:
- $10.3 billion in total travel related expenditures*
- 40% of Virginia’s total tourism expenditures or more than 1 out of every 3 tourism dollars in the Commonwealth is spent in the Northern Virginia region*
- 91,416 jobs*
- $644 million in local & state tax revenue*
*Source: All data was received by the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) from US Travel Association and is based on domestic visitor spending (travelers from within the United States) from trips taken 50 miles or more away from home.
“We’re thrilled that Northern Virginia had such strong numbers for 2018,” said Emily Cassell, acting assistant director of Arlington Economic Development and president of the Northern Virginia Tourism Partnership. “Each of our destinations has its own truly unique array of visitor experiences, from iconic attractions to hotels, shopping, culinary adventures, arts, recreation and more. Promoting Northern Virginia together as a region helps visitors fully experience the area’s great offerings and is an even bigger win for us and for the Commonwealth.”
Tourism creates jobs, tax revenue, and spurs development across the Commonwealth, which is evident in this ever-developing region. Several recently opened or highly anticipated attractions and tourist-friendly sites that support tourism include:
- Tall Ship Providence – Opening this fall as a new maritime history experience at the Old Town Alexandria waterfront, tall ship Providence will provide a link to Alexandria’s rich maritime, naval and Revolutionary history. Visitors will be welcomed aboard the replica 18th-century sloop for tours and cruises on the Potomac River, including family pirate cruises, craft beer cruises and evening cruises.
- Arlington National Cemetery – One of the most frequently visited sites in the region, Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place for more than 400,000 active duty service members, veterans and their families. “Service to country” is the common thread that binds all who are honored and remembered here. In 2020, the doors will open on the renovated Arlington House on the grounds of the Cemetery.
- National Museum of the United States Army – Opening in June 2020, the 185,000-square-foot attraction will be the first and only official national museum of the U.S. Army and will provide a comprehensive look at the Army’s history using advanced educational opportunities and the latest advances in museum exhibits. The museum is expected to draw nearly 750,000 visitors annually to southern Fairfax County.
- ION International Training Center – This 90,000-square-foot facility, which opened in Loudoun in May thanks to former Olympic figure skater Luiz Taifas and wife Mitra Setayesh, features two NHL-size sheets of ice that can convert to event space and will draw countless sporting events, public skating shows and more.
- The Neabsco Boardwalk / Neabsco Regional Park – Home to the ¾ mile boardwalk that traverses Neabsco Creek, this park is a key artery of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail in Prince William County.
“Virginia’s tourism industry had a banner year in 2018, hitting new records and making important impacts on our communities across the Commonwealth,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Virginia is for Lovers and the tourism industry’s continued growth this year, we also celebrate the people who impact and influence our communities with their vision, passion, and love for the tourism industry. Our industry is made up of creative, hard-working, and dedicated professionals, and they work every day to make our communities more vibrant and dynamic. They help to make Virginia the best place to live, work, and visit, and are our most powerful ambassadors for Virginia is for Lovers.”
About the Northern Virginia Tourism Partnership
The Northern Virginia Tourism Partnership (NVTP), comprised of the destination marketing organizations from the City of Alexandria and Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William, shares resources to attract domestic and international visitation to Northern Virginia. The region is home to two world-class airports, Reagan National and Washington Dulles International, and is easily accessible via major roadways and by rail. Northern Virginia, known internationally as Virginia’s Cultural Region, showcases an energetic mix of history, culture, dining, shopping, and the largest collection of Virginia’s spirits, wine, and craft beer industry. Learn more at NorthernVA.org.
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