Virginia’s tourism revenue exceeds $20 billion in 2011

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Virginia saw higher tourism revenue in 2011 than 2010, Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Wednesday.

According to data from the U.S. Travel Association, Virginia’s tourism revenue in 2011 increased to $20.4 billion, compared to $18.9 in 2010, an 8 percent increase.

In 2011, tourism in Virginia supported 207,000 jobs, an increase of nearly 2 percent in employment, and provided more than $1.3 billion in state and local taxes. The information is based on domestic visitor spending (travelers from within the United States) from per-person trips taken 50 miles or more away from home.

“I’ve made tourism a key part of my administration’s economic development initiatives, and it’s encouraging to see the positive return on investment,” McDonnell said in a statement.

Virginia’s popular tourism slogan, Virginia is for Lovers was launched more than 40 years ago and is the longest-running state tourism slogan in the U.S. The slogan was named one of the top 10 tourism marketing campaigns of all time by Forbes and was inducted into the National Advertising Walk of Fame in 2009. Virginia also was recently named one of the top 10 wine travel destinations in the world for 2012 by Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

Image Credit: Virginia Tourism Corporation

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