The economic impact of agritourism
- April 20, 2017
Agritourism in Virginia had a $2.2 billion economic impact in 2015, according to a new study by the Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business.
The report considered spending by visitors at 1,400 agritourism businesses in Virginia, including wineries, ranches, historical attractions and pick-your-own vegetables and fruit farms.
The study is the first of its kind to provide a benchmark report on the impact of Virginia’s agritourism sector.
The report also found that more than one-third – 35 percent – of the respondents had been open less than five years.
Key findings suggest that in 2015, agritourism:
- Supported 22,000 jobs
- Contributed $840 million in income
- Paid $135 million in state and local taxes
The three regions attracting the most visitors included Northern Virginia, Central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley, accounting for 60 percent of total visitor spending.
Agritourism also is important in attracting out-of-town visitors. The study said that out of 7.2 million visitors, 3.2 million had traveled from farther than 50 miles to visit the sites surveyed.
The study was funded by a planning grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) fund. Financial support also came from the Virginia Tourism Corp. and the counties of Augusta, Halifax, Loudoun and Rockingham.
|VIRGINIA REGION||LOCAL VISITORS||NON- LOCAL VISITORS||TOTAL VISITOR SPENDING (in millions)|
|Southwest Virginia/Blue Ridge Highlands||344,819||249,697||$120.00|
|Coastal Virginia/Eastern Shore||93,194||67,486||$32.2|
|Southwest Virginia/Heart of Appalachia||55,917||40,491||$19.4|
Source: The Economic And Fiscal Impacts of Agritourism in Virginia