Tourism Revenue Reached $1.57 Billion in the Shenandoah Valley in 2019

Published on : Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Tourism revenue for the 14 localities stretching from Lexington to Winchester reached $1.57 billion in 2019, a $46 millionincrease over 2018. Local tourism-supported jobs totaled 13,859 while local tourism-related taxes increased $1.4 million to $45.8 million.

Because of the local and state tax revenues generated by this direct tourism spending, the average household in the Shenandoah Valley spent $573 less in taxes in 2019. In other words, if tourism did not exist in the Valley, each of the 197,503 households would have had to pay an average of $573 more in state & local taxes to replace the taxes generated by tourist spending.

The Shenandoah Valley Tourism Partnership, a collaboration between the tourism offices that represent these 14 localities, works together to market the Shenandoah Valley and support the tourism businesses and industry within by increasing tourist spending annually.

According to the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC), tourism in Virginia generated $27 billion in visitor spending in 2019. The tourism industry also supported 237,000 jobs for Virginia communities and provided $1.8 billion in state and local revenue. Virginia ranks 8th in the nation for domestic travel spending. All data is from the U.S. Travel Association and is based on domestic visitor spending from trips taken 50 miles or more away from home.

The travel industry in the Commonwealth has continued to grow 10 years in a row with a compound annual growth rate of 3.9 percent since 2010. However, these figures do not account for the devastating impact that COVID-19 has had on the tourism industry.

The coronavirus pandemic put the Virginia travel and tourism industry in crisis, and imposed a devastating strain on Virginia’s hotels, restaurants, attractions, and communities. The pandemic caused decreased revenue and a reduced workforce, while some businesses have been forced to shutter temporarily if not completely. As a result, early numbers for 2020 project a sharp decrease in tourism spending.

As the Commonwealth continues to grapple with the impact of COVID-19, the pandemic has further emphasized the stark contrast in 2019 and 2020 and that statewide economic revival cannot occur without the recovery of the travel industry.

While the coronavirus has had a significant impact on Virginia’s tourism economy, the industry remains hopeful for a robust return to 2019 numbers in the future. Tourism will be key to economic recovery as the pandemic stabilizes and leisure and business travel resumes. As Americans begin to travel again,the Shenandoah Valley Tourism Partnership intends to help restore the tourism economy into the economic engine it always has been.


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