Domestic visitors to and within Craven County spent $155 million in 2019, an increase of 4.3 percent from 2018.

The data comes from an annual study commissioned by Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

“Tourism has an enormous effect on New Bern and Craven County and we are thrilled with the continued growth in our area.” Judy Avery, marketing director, New Bern-Craven County Convention and Visitor Center.

Tourism impact highlights for 2019:
• The travel and tourism industry directly employs more than 1,180 in Craven County.
• Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Craven County was $31.16 million.
• State tax revenue generated in Craven County totaled $8.41 million through state sales and excise taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income. About $3.38 million in local taxes were generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses.

Visitors to North Carolina set a record for spending in 2019. The $26.7 billion in total spending represented an
increase of 5.6 percent from 2018.

These statistics are from the “Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2019,” which can be
accessed here. The study was prepared for Visit North Carolina by
the U.S. Travel Association.

“The numbers confirm the strength of North Carolina’s tourism industry as an anchor of economic development,” said Wit Tuttell, director of Visit North Carolina. “As the No. 6 state in the country for overnight visitation, we can attribute our success to the natural beauty and authenticity that visitors experience, and to a passionate effort to inform and inspire travelers. The money they spend benefits everyone by sustaining jobs and
reducing our residents’ tax burden.”

Statewide highlights include:
• State tax receipts as a result of visitor spending rose 5.0 percent to more than $1.3 billion in 2019.
• Visitors spend more than $73 million per day in North Carolina. That spending adds $5.92 million per
day to state and local tax revenues (about $3.7 million in state taxes and $2.2 million in local taxes).
• The travel and tourism industry directly employees more than 235,000 North Carolinians.
• Each North Carolina household saves on average $551 in state and local taxes as a direct result of visitor spending in the state.

The 2019 numbers reflect a Craven County still recovering from the 2018 Hurricane Florence, including the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center and New Bern’s largest hotel being closed.

The 2020 numbers will be affected by COVID-19.

Tryon Palace.

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