The Yadkin Valley Heritage Corridor (YVHC) Partnership announces that total visitation to the Yadkin Valley Heritage Corridor area of Caldwell, Surry, Wilkes, and Yadkin counties generated an economic impact of $240.99 million in 2011, a 6.59 percent increase from pre-recession almost five years ago.

Since 2006, Caldwell grew 2.73 percent to $49.21 million, Surry grew 31.6 percent to $102.52 million, Wilkes grew 4.86 percent to $62.33 million, and Yadkin County grew 5.28 percent to $31.11 million.

“Tourism is an important economic driver for businesses in the Yadkin Valley region and North Carolina,” says Helen Ruth Almond, project manager for the YVHC Partnership. “Tourism helps support local businesses, brings “new money” to the area, promotes business development, and improves the appearance of the community.”

In 2011, tourism activity in the YVHC region generated 1,890 jobs and a combined payroll of $34.96 million. State and local tax revenue generated $18.85 million through state sales and excise taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income. Additionally, contributions to state and local taxes provided tax relief for each household, including $46.24 in Caldwell, $107.31 in Surry, $67.41 in Wilkes, and $64.79 in Yadkin.

These statistics are from the “2011 Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties.” The study was prepared for the North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development by the U.S. Travel Association.

Statewide highlights include:

Tourism is one of North Carolina’s largest industries. In 2011, domestic travelers spent $18.4 billion across the state, an 8% increase from last year, and a record high visitor spending figure.

Domestic tourism expenditures directly supported 187,900 jobs for North Carolina residents, up 2% from 2010.

The tourism industry contributed $4.18 billion to the state’s payroll in 2011.

Traveler spending generated over $2.8 billion in tax receipts: $1.30 billion in federal, $1.01 billion in state and $560.5 million in local tax revenue: This was the first time that state tax revenues reached $1 billion.

North Carolina ranks seventh in total person-trip volume by state behind California, Florida, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, and sixth in overnight person-trip volume by state behind California, Florida, Texas, New York, and Pennsylvania.

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