NELSON COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The U.S. Travel Association says all parts of Virginia saw increases in tourism revenue last year, including Nelson County.
The county reports it saw an almost two percent gain over 2017, bringing in more than $211 million in tourism revenue.
In Nelson County, these revenues helped support 1,744 jobs and generated more than $6 million in local tourism-related taxes.
"Economic and tourism development require a long view," said Larry Sanders, the chair of the Nelson County Board of Supervisors. "Nelson County has experienced long term growth because of our commitment to strategy and focus on our strengths as an agrarian economy. Our tourism efforts are aligned with the experiential traveler. We are a leader in the Virginia tourism industry. For example, the Brew Ridge Trail is Virginias Original Beer Trail. The Virginia Craft Brewers Guild and the Virginia Cider Association started in Nelson County. We just launched the Nelson 29 Craft Beverage Trail this week. The work and the incremental success continues."
The Virginia Tourism Corporation says tourism is at record levels in Virginia with visitor spending continuing to grow year after year.
It is also a critical portion of the state and local economy. In 2018, tourism in Virginia generated $26 billion in travel spending, supporting 235,000 work opportunities and contributing $1.8 billion in state and local taxes.
The VTC says the increase is largely attributed to tourism promotion and development efforts, including new hotels, restaurants, agritourism, craft breweries, wineries, distilleries, cideries, sports, festivals, music venues, attractions and more.
"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, CEO of the VTC. "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."
The data from the USTA is based on domestic visitor spending, or those who travel from within the United States, on trips taken 50 miles or more away from home.