WILMINGTON, N.C. -- Tourism pumped $11.9 billion into North
Carolina's coffers last year, according to a study of the
industry's impact in the state's 100 counties.
The study, conducted by the Travel Industry Association of
America (TIA), showed that travel spending in North Carolina was up
5.7% last year, compared with 1998.
By comparison, the average growth in tourism spending nationwide
last year was 5.1%, compared with the previous year, TIA said.
"Tourism is a strong economic development engine for North
Carolina," said Rick Carlisle, the state's secretary of
"And the positive economic impact does not stop with
vacationers. We've found that these same people often bring
businesses to the state and become new residents. So the
impressions that we make with travelers often widen into other
development areas," Carlisle said.
The study used tax revenue data to determine the overall
economic impact of travel from both domestic and international
Other highlights of the study include:International travelers to North Carolina spent $472.4 million
last year.In 1999, the travel industry generated $671 million in total
state tax revenue through state sales and excise taxes, and taxes
on personal and corporate income.Local governments within North Carolina received $315.5 million
in sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and
travel-supported businesses.Spending on lodging in North Carolina increased 7.6% in 1999,
the greatest growth among the industry sectors studied by TIA.Public transportation expenditures increased 1.6%; auto
transportation, 5.8%; food service, 7.2%, and entertainment and
recreation, 2.9%.Domestic and international traveler spending in North Carolina
generated more than 198,000 jobs within the state, including both
full-time and seasonal positions.