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Revenue from tourism grows

Tourism revenue for Halifax County, including the towns of South Boston and Halifax, reached $42,353,096, a 3 percent increase over 2011.

The increase follows the statewide tourism trend recently announced by the governor.

Gov. Bob McDonnell said earlier this month tourism in Virginia became a $21 billion industry in 2012 — good economic news for the commonwealth. 

Data released by the United States Travel Association (USTA) reveals every locality in Virginia posted an increase in tourism revenue last year.

According to the USTA, tourism in Virginia generated $21.2 billion in revenue, a four percent increase over 2011. Tourism also supported 210,000 jobs in the commonwealth and provided $1.36 billion in state and local taxes. 

In terms of those numbers, tourism is the third largest industry in Virginia.

Tourism in Halifax County was again an important contributor to the local economy in 2012. 

Local tourism-supported 516 jobs, while local tourism-related taxes collected totaled $768,478.  

Expenditures associated with visitor spending makes a substantial economic contribution to the Halifax County economy, according to Halifax County Tourism Director Linda Shepperd. 

All data was received by the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) from USTA and is based on domestic visitor spending (travelers from within the United States) from per person trips taken 50 miles or more away from home.

“For the sixth straight year, Halifax County has posted an increase in travel expenditures,” said Shepperd. “Tourism is a good source of economic opportunity. It creates jobs. It creates investment. Increasing tax revenue without additional burden placed on local taxpayers has proven to be a positive and attainable goal.”

“Tourism plays a key role in our economic development and growth in the commonwealth, providing valuable jobs for citizens and stimulating business of all sizes,” the governor said earlier this month when announcing the growth in tourism revenue.

“During my administration, I have made tourism a fundamental part of my economic development initiatives. The data released shows once again that tourism provides a tremendous return on investment, and continues to provide jobs — 210,000 of them — to the citizens of Virginia.” 

“Tourism is an instant revenue generator for the commonwealth. 2012 was a banner year for travel and hospitality in Virginia, and we were pleased to see such continued improvement in our tourism economy,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of VTC. “Tourism is a driving force of Virginia’s economy--it creates jobs, generates economic impact, and benefits businesses and communities across the state. We are fortunate to have a governor and members of the General Assembly who recognize the importance of investing in an industry that continues to grow and strengthen our economy.”