RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia’s tourism industry generated $30.3 billion in visitor spending in 2022, according to a press release, which is a 20.3% increase from the previous year.

According to the announcement by Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Virginia Tourism Corporation, or VTC, the tourism industry in Virginia directly supported 210,721 jobs in 2022. Although this is an increase from 2021 by more than 25,000 jobs, it is still below 2019’s numbers by around 30,000.

“Travel and tourism play an essential role in Virginia’s economy,” Youngkin said. “Reviving our tourism industry was a crucial goal to our economic recovery, and our focused efforts on employment and business growth has proven to be successful for the Commonwealth.”

The leading tourism sectors in Virginia are recreation and food and beverage, and increased about 10% from 2019.

“We are thrilled to see visitor spending in Virginia return to pre-pandemic numbers,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “The rate of spending recovery and growth proves how resilient Virginia’s tourism industry is. We look forward to seeing increased travel and a continued recovery in 2023.”

With the additional marketing dollars that came through the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, funds, Virginia has continued to see growth in visitor spending. Virginia Tourism, specifically, utilized the funds to advertise in new markets and reached nearly 15 million more households in 2022 relative to 2021, according to a press release.

Detailed economic impact and data is available here.

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