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Domestic Visitor Spending in Chatham Up 3.5 Percent According to 2017 Study

Post Date:10/05/2018 10:18 AM

Visit North Carolina recently announced that domestic visitors to and within Chatham County spent nearly $35 million in 2017, an increase of 3.51 percent from the last statewide study in 2016.

“We are excited to see that Chatham County continues to experience growth in tourism activities, which in turn increases revenue for local businesses,” said Neha Shah, director of the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), which serves the entire county. 

She added, “Restaurants and lodging facilities benefit, as do other places frequented by visitors, ranging from ancillary services such as gas stations, as well as outdoor adventure shops and other retail, caterers, and special event venues.”

Interim County Manager Dan LaMontagne said that visitor spending has a very positive domino effect. “It means more local jobs to serve visitors and related businesses. It means more tax revenue for the county government and the towns as well through sales and excise taxes. All residents win when we have more people enjoying sites and events in Chatham County.”

The 2017 study by Visit North Carolina found the following positive Chatham County impacts:  

  • Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Chatham County was $4.52 million, up 7.84 percent from 2016. 
  • State tax revenue generated in Chatham County totaled $2.08 million, up 2.72 percent from 2016. This includes state sales and excise taxes as well as taxes on personal and corporate income.
  • Local tax revenues generated in Chatham County totaled $650,000, an increase of 4.97% from 2016. This increase in sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses translates into an annual tax savings of $36.51 per resident.

Governor Roy Cooper announced in May that visitors to North Carolina set a record for visitor spending in 2017. The $23.99 billion in total spending represented an increase of 4.2 percent from 2016.

Gabriela Magallanes, director of operations for House of Hops, said that her business is happy to work with the CVB as a partner in marketing to both locals and visitors to the county. “Small businesses have difficulty affording traditional print and media advertising. Additionally, most small business owners and employees are managing multiple aspects of the business.”

Magallanes added that the House of Hops is much more than a retail site, so marketing is critical. “We offer a place for varying craft beers, a shared patio for good food to pair with drink, an inviting place both indoors and outside, and a diverse array of year-round events.”

Starrlight Mead’s owner, Becky Starr, observed, “The growth of Chatham's economic impact reflects our own growth over the last few years. With eight years in business and our one-million dollar expansion this fall, we are grateful for the support of the CVB. We wouldn't have been as successful as we've been without Ms. Shah sharing her knowledge so generously."

“All eight economic development regions of the state had spending growth of 3 percent or more, and 90 percent of the state’s counties saw direct tourism employment growth from 2016 to 2017,” said Wit Tuttell, executive director of Visit North Carolina. “Tourism continues to be major driver of economic development across North Carolina, which is the sixth most-visited state in the country.”

The annual tourism study is performed by Visit North Carolina and the U.S. Travel Association provides important statistics every year. The latest report, “Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2017,” can be accessed at: