Why Tourism Matters

The tourism industry supports the livelihoods of more than 17 million Americans, whose careers have blossomed. And it is one place where the right things matter most—reliability, hustle and attitude. These are the people who help others connect because hospitality runs in their DNA, fueling the travel industry's continued success. These are the jobs and the people we should be celebrating.

This National Travel and Tourism Week (May 2-8) will recognize the power of travel and the industry’s role in bringing back our vibrant communities, restoring the U.S. economy, rebuilding our workforce and reconnecting America. It arrives at an opportune moment to recognize the importance to the economy of initiating a post-pandemic travel recovery.

North Carolina 2020 Tourism Facts:
  • Domestic travelers spent $19.7 billion in 2020. Domestic spending was down 29.5 percent from $27.9 billion in 2019.
  • Direct tourism employment in North Carolina decreased 26.4 percent to 178,700.
  • Visitors spend more than $54 million per day in North Carolina. That spending adds $4.9 million per day to state and local tax revenues.
  • Each North Carolina resident saves on average $170 in state and local taxes as a direct result of visitor spending in the state. 
  • More than 45,000 businesses in North Carolina directly provide products and services to travelers, with travelers directly contributing more than 25 percent to their total products and services.
  • North Carolina hosted 37 million visitors in 2020.
Why Does Tourism Matter to the Lake Norman Area?
  • Every time a visitor spends money in our towns they also pay taxes. Those tax dollars do not come from us, the residents, but contribute directly to our schools, help expand our roads, and provide services like police, fire, and rescue.
  • Last fiscal year, VLN helped bring in over 90,000 attendees that generated approximately $16 million in estimated economic impact.
  • Last year, VLN returned $18.67 to each town per every dollar funded. ($863,931.90)
  • 1 in 9 employed people in Mecklenburg County work in the hospitality and leisure markets.