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The economic impact of agritourism

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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
Central Virginia 891,560 645,612 $311.3
Chesapeake Bay 111,833 80,983 $39.1
Coastal Virginia/Eastern Shore 93,194 67,486 $32.2
Coastal Virginia 410,055 296,937 $142.4
Southwest Virginia/Heart of Appalachia 55,917 40,491 $19.4
Northern Virginia 1,096,587 794,081 $383.1
Shenandoah Valley 736,236 533,136 $255.8
Southern Virginia 270,264 195,708 $94.0
Virginia Mountains 366,565 265,443 $127.5

Source: The Economic And Fiscal Impacts of Agritourism in Virginia




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