NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) VisitNorfolk announced that visitor spending reached a record of $1.3 billion in the fiscal year 2022.

“This significant increase isn’t just a win for the tourism industry; it’s a win for the entire city of Norfolk,” Kurt Krause, president and CEO of VisitNorfolk, said in a release. “Tourism is Norfolk’s third largest economic driver, and the infusion of these funds into our local economy creates jobs, boosts local business and fuels growth across multiple sectors.”

Tourism plays a key role in sustaining local employment opportunities and the quality of life for Norfolk residents, according to the release. Tourism also generated $90.4 million in local and state taxes in 2022, saving every household in Norfolk $1,282 in taxes, according to a release.

“The future for Norfolk is promising, especially as we look ahead at various projects in the works,” Krause said.

Krause said the city will build on the momentum from this year for future projects such as expanding some of Norfolk’s attractions, and adding an onsite hotel in Norfolk International Airport.

Virginia’s tourism and travel industry has various sectors contributing to its economic vitality, employment and tax revenue. The key performance indicators for the city of Norfolk, specifically, include the following:

  • Transportation was the largest sector for Norfolk, equating to $567 million, which is 42.2% of the visitor spending, an increase of 21% from 2021.
  •  Food and beverage was the second largest share with 26%, spending at $348 million, an increase 22% from 2021.
  •  Lodging generated $197 million, which is 14.7% of visitor spending.
  •  Retail saw $120 million spent.
  •  Recreation had over $111 million spent.

With the additional marketing dollars that came through the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, Virginia and its localities, including Norfolk, continue to see growth in visitor spending.

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