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2018 Visitor Impact for Chatham County

County Spending by Domestic Visitors Increases by 5.4% Percent

Post Date:08/28/2019 8:55 AM

PITTSBORO, NC — Governor Roy Cooper announced that domestic visitors to and within Chatham County spent $36.9 million in 2018, an increase of 5.4% from 2017. The data comes from an annual study commissioned by Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

“Chatham County offers a diverse, and growing, number of tourism assets appealing to our visitors’ interests and budgets. The CVB continues to focus on destination marketing and branding to draw guests to explore our craft beverage sites, farms, local eateries, golf courses, nature places, and other sights. We are thrilled to serve as a preferred location for weddings, meetings, and events, serving the group market,” said Neha Shah, director of the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), which serves the entire county.

The positive economic impact figures show a successful track record:

  • Nine-year trend of consecutive increases in tourism economic impact
  • Two years of double-digit growth
  • Two decades with a one-person staff

“With the combination of our rich historical and cultural sites, along with our recent developments and attractions, Chatham County residents and employees have long known how great of a community this is to live, work and raise their families,” said Dan LaMontagne, Chatham County Manager. “It is exciting that many folks from other areas are now discovering what a special place Chatham County is, and we hope that they will come back to enjoy future visits as well as spread the word with others about the greatness of Chatham County.”

Area businesses say they are experiencing the positive impacts from those who visit Chatham County.

“Fearrington Village has been a touchpoint for Chatham County tourism for over 30 years now, and we are starting to see a real shift in the way our visitors find out about us and how they spend their time with us. We continue to enjoy a successful relationship with the CVB marketing our collection of businesses and are pleased to see the county thriving in tourism. Our inn and fine-dining restaurant have always been a big draw for special occasions, but we are seeing more guests coming for the day to enjoy our shops, casual dining and a visit with the farm animals. We see this as a great opportunity to introduce more guests to our property.” – Theresa Chiettini, general manager, Fearrington House Inn

“Tourism and hospitality are a significant part of the growing economy in Chatham County. Our work with the CVB is critical as we see continued growth. We have collaborated on numerous endeavors as we anticipate even more visitor businesses and jobs in this thriving and diverse industry. We anticipate residential and tourism growth that will equate to diverse jobs across the hospitality industry, which will encompass accommodations, entertainment expansion, and alongside all of it, extensive food and beverage opportunities.” – Chef Gregory Hamm, executive director, Central Carolina Culinary Institute

“FireClay Cellars is excited, as a new business, to work with the CVB, and in our short time in operation, we have seen success in marketing already. We look forward to continuing to work jointly with the CVB on marketing and promotion of our beverage business. We are pleased to welcome visitors to our winery, tasting room, and venue for tours, festivals and private events. We are very proud of our award-winning wines and look forward to producing more in the years to come.” – Erik Mitran, wine maker, FireClay Cellars

Tourism impact highlights for 2018:

  • Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Chatham County was $4.74 million, a 5% increase from 2017.
  • State tax revenue generated in Chatham County totaled $2.17 million through state sales and excise taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income. About $680,000 in local taxes were generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses.

Governor Cooper announced in May that visitors to North Carolina set a record for spending in 2018. The $25.3 billion in total spending represented an increase of 5.6 percent from 2017.

These statistics are from the “Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2018 and 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, executive 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 4.7 percent to more than $1.3 billion in 2018.
  • Visitors spend more than $69 million per day in North Carolina. That spending adds $5.64 million per day to state and local tax revenues (about $3.5 million in state taxes and $2.1 million in local taxes).
  • The travel and tourism industry directly employees more than 230,000 North Carolinians.
  • Each North Carolina household saves on average $532 in state and local taxes as a direct result of visitor spending in the state.

The CVB is fully funded by revenues generated by the occupancy tax on lodging facilities in Chatham County. Additional information on the CVB and attractions and events in Chatham County can be found at

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