Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Spotsylvania Ranks Way Up on Tourism Sales and Income Despite Revenue Slump

Talk about finding some silver lining in a cloud when we need to hear it:

FLS:
By PAMELA GOULD


Tourists spent nearly $199 million in Spotsylvania last year, earning the county 18th place for spending among Virginia's 134 localities.

The $198.7 million spent in Spotsylvania in 2007 is a 9.4 percent increase over 2006, according to a report released this week by the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

"I think it's really good, obviously," said Spotsylvania Economic Development Director Russ Seymour. "I think people are starting to recognize there are things to do in this area."

Statewide, tourists spent nearly $18.7 billion on such things as attractions, lodging and restaurants in 2007, up 5.8 percent from the previous year. That spending translated into $731.6 million in state tax revenue and $529.2 million in tax revenue for localities. It also created 210,300 jobs, a 1 percent increase in Virginia's tourism employment.

The report, compiled by the Travel Industry Association, ranked the city of Fredericksburg 30th among the state's 134 cities and counties for tourism spending. Among counties in the region, Stafford ranked 37th, Caroline 49th, and King George 97th.

Across the region, tourism spending increased between 3.9 percent and 9.7 percent. Seymour noted that people are increasingly looking to take day trips rather than traditional out-of-town vacations, and that bodes well for the Fredericksburg area.

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