International tourism to Virginia hits new record
Virginia's international tourism visitation surpassed 1.1 million in 2018, with more than $2 billion in economic impact, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday.
“Virginia’s doors are open, and we are welcoming record numbers of visitors from around the world,” Northam said in a statement in Wednesday. “International visitors play an important role in building and maintaining our strong economy by shopping at our local businesses, dining at our restaurants and taking in our world-class attractions. It is these diverse tourism assets that make Virginia a premier destination for global travelers and drive economic prosperity and job creation throughout our commonwealth.”
The state has seen a 22% increase in international tourism since 2009, and the number of visitors from overseas increased by 5% from 2017 to 2018.
Nearly half of Virginia's international tourists hail from Canada, 29% from Europe and 17% from the Asia-Pacific region.
“Love is at the heart of every vacation. That’s one reason our brand resonates so well — even across continents,” said Rita McClenny, President and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corp. “Whether our beaches, mountains, music, wine, craft beer or oysters, there’s something for everyone to love in a Virginia vacation.”
Virginia is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its “Virginia is for Lovers” campaign.