Tourism rises in Charlottesville and Albemarle

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Virginia took in about $26 billion in travel spending in 2018, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

All regions in the state saw an increase in tourism revenue in 2018, including Charlottesville and Albemarle County.

The Charlottesville-Albemarle area took in about $22 million in revenue from tourism last year.

The city saw a 4.5-percent increase in revenue while the county saw a 3.5-percent increase.

One of the reasons for the spike in tourism is craft beer in the area.

Kevin McElroy, the co-founder and brewer at Random Row Brewery, said the craft beer scene in the area has been growing, and visitors like seeing what the area has to offer.

"We got a ton of breweries right here in Charlottesville already," said McElroy. "With a couple of more breweries opening up, we are trying to compete with bigger cities like Richmond to draw more people to Charlottesville to try out the local beer scene."

Starr Hill Brewery and Rockfish breweries are set to open soon in the Charlottesville area.

McElroy said he does not see the craft beer scene in the area slowing down.

"Obviously, there is going to be a limit to how many breweries in Charlottesville can handle," said McElroy. "Time will tell."

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