(Johnston County, NC) – The North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development announced that domestic visitors traveling more than 50 miles to Johnston County spent $204.51 in 2013, an increase of 3.5 percent over 2012 figures.

"Without tourism spending in Johnston County which generates $16.24 million in state and local taxes, each household in the county would expect to pay $240 more in taxes. Tourism tax dollars and spending supports local small businesses and helps provide services for local residents," stated Donna Bailey-Taylor, Executive Director, Johnston County Visitors Bureau.

Tourism impact highlights for 2013:

  • The travel and tourism industry directly employees more than 1,660 full time jobs in Johnston County with many more part-time and seasonal jobs in retail.
  • Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Johnston County was $30.35 million.
  • State tax revenue generated in Johnston County totaled $11.19 million through state sales and excise taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income. Approximately $5.04 in local taxes were generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses.

“Our hotels and visitor industry partners began seeing some improvement in business in 2010 and as these new numbers indicate growth in revenues was strong in 2013”, stated Bailey-Taylor, “During these trying times for our industry, the Visitors Bureau has shifted our efforts from print to digital marketing and our strategies have included more partnerships, packaging, and product development with targeted messages and keyword campaigns with Google.”

Governor Pat McCrory and Department of Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker announced last week that 95 of the state's 100 counties saw increases in visitor spending in 2013. Data from the North Carolina Department of Commerce's Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development showed that visitor spending topped $1 billion in Mecklenburg, Wake and Guilford counties and approached $1 billion in Dare and Buncombe.

Domestic visitors spent a record $20 billion in 2013, an increase of 4 percent from the previous year. State tax receipts as a result of visitor spending topped $1 billion in 2013, and local tax revenues directly resulting from visitor spending totaled more than $601 million. Visitor expenditures directly supported 198,270 jobs and generated more than $4.6 billion in payroll income across North Carolina.

The visitor spending figures come from an annual study commissioned by the Division of Tourism and conducted by the U.S. Travel Association. The study uses sales and tax revenue data, employment figures and other industry data to determine the overall impact of visitor spending in North Carolina.

More information on the programs, budget, and activities of the Johnston County Visitors Bureau may be found on the website, www.johnstoncountync.org/jc-tourism-authority or by calling 919-989-8687.