NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Tourism revenue for the city of Norfolk reached $926,302,219, a 4.4 percent change over 2018. Local tourism-supported jobs totaled 8,051 while local tourism-related taxes were $28,442,662.
According to the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC), tourism in Virginia generated $27 billion in visitor spending in 2019.
The travel industry in the Commonwealth has continued to grow 10 years in a row with a compound annual growth rate of 3.9 percent since 2010. However, these figures do not account for the devastating impact that COVID-19 has had on the tourism industry.
The tourism industry also supported 237,000 jobs for Virginia communities and provided $1.8 billion in state and local revenue.
Virginia ranks 8th in the nation for domestic travel spending. All data is from the U.S. Travel Association and is based on domestic visitor spending from trips taken 50 miles or more away from home.
“Tourism is a fundamental component in our city and economy,” says President and CEO, Kurt Krause. “The impact made in 2019 is impressive and we want to celebrate that success while accepting that the numbers in 2020 will look different with impacts from COVID-19. As we plan and look to the future, we know that tourism will be a vital way that we all recover from this.”
As the Commonwealth continues to grapple with the impact of COVID-19, the pandemic has further emphasized the stark contrast in 2019 and 2020 and that statewide economic revival cannot occur without the recovery of the travel industry.
In an effort to boost tourism to the region following months of state-mandated travel restrictions, VisitNorfolk and Visit Virginia Beach joined forces to launch “Together At Last,” a trailblazing co-operative marketing initiative that marketed their cities as a can’t miss destination to safely escape the pandemic.
The campaign has encouraged families, couples and millennials to make memories in 2020 while having easy access to a wide variety of savings at local businesses in both destinations. In a three-month run, the campaign generated over 1,700 “At Last” sign ups with nearly 150,000 pageviews on the VisitNorfolkVaBeach.com site.
With the success generated, the campaign was extended for an additional three months while also incorporating messaging to locals to “explore their own backyard by taking a staycation.” Although the campaign will be ending officially at the end of November, the savings to local businesses on the “At Last” will be available through 2021.