The past year has provided many opportunities for Visit Lake Norman (VLN). Step by step, we have worked through both successes and challenges together, and emerged with another astounding show of accomplishments.
As a business owner, I recognize the ability of this organization to adapt positively to change. In my tenure as Chairman, we have seen significant alterations in our budget, in the economy, and in consumer behaviors.
Despite these changes, we have consistently exceeded each previous year's efforts, by making the most of our assets. Over the last five years our funding has decreased by $94,139; however our impact via visitor spending has grown by more than $18 million.
This spending contributes directly to our businesses in the form of patronage and to our residents in the form of tax savings. In 2015, domestic visitors traveling to North Carolina spent a record-setting $21.9 billion, generating $4.9 million in tax revenues every day and saving each household $475 annually in state and local taxes. More than 45,000 businesses across the state directly serve travelers and over 211,000 jobs were directly supported by tourism expenditures.*
The travel and tourism industry has also consistently commanded the top spot in employment growth for the national economy over the last several months with one in nine jobs depending on travelers. The U.S. Travel Association reported that since March of 2011, the travel industry has created 271,000 new jobs; a growth rate of 26% faster than any other sector of the economy. Our economic survival relies heavily on bringing visitors to our towns. I am proud to be part of an organization that provides such a powerful and necessary service. I encourage you to read through this year's report and appreciate how VLN equals success for our community.
~ Randy Marion, Chairman Visit Lake Norman Board of Directors
At VLN, we are 100% dedicated to bringing visitors into Cornelius, Davidson, and Huntersville that spend money in our hotels, restaurants, attractions, and retail establishments.
We achieve our goal by seeking out and bringing in national and regional events with a 75% or higher return on overnight accommodations. We also help support the promotion and development of our existing assets. By leveraging our combined resources we ensure our visitors the most enjoyable experience possible while in our fantastic destination, and hope that they will visit often. Like Chairman Marion, I encourage you to read through this report of our last year's accomplishments to see how our achievements make an impact on the local economy in so many ways.
~ Sally Ashworth, Executive Director
*Source: NC Department of Commerce