Rowan County tourism numbers get a boost in 2018

10th straight year of increases

Rowan County tourism numbers get a boost in 2018
Classic car enthusiasts enjoy the Mopar Show at the NC Transportation Museum in 2018. (David Whisenant-WBTV)

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Rowan County’s tourism numbers are up for the tenth straight year, according to the Rowan County Convention Visitors Bureau and a state-sponsored study.

Visitor spending was up 5.7% in 2018, compared to a 4.67% growth rate in 2017.

Tourism saves each Rowan County resident $109 in taxes, according to the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

In 2018, visitor spending brought $184.67 million to the county, which generated $6 million in tax revenue, according to the CVB.

“We are all pleased to see healthy and sustained growth in Rowan County’s tourism economy, as growth in tourism is beneficial for the entire Rowan County economy and community at large,” said James Meacham, executive director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The continued growth is attributed to the hard work and dedication put in by Rowan County’s tourism-related businesses, organizations, their team members, and the community welcoming visitors.”

The number of tourism jobs in Rowan County increased by 2.1% in 2018 to 1,480 jobs (includes both part time and full time jobs) and total wages grew by 5.2% to $32.32 million in income.

The Cheerwine Festival, Little League Eastern Regional World Series, and several events at the North Carolina Transportation Museum helped to push the tourism numbers up across Rowan in 2018.

According to the press release, current trends point to the potential for continued growth through the rest of 2019. Tourism revenues generated in Rowan County by overnight visitors were up 9.5 percent in Fiscal Year 2018-2019 as compared to Fiscal Year 2017-2018, posting another record year. Through June of 2019 the local lodging sector is up 7.8 percent compared to the same period in 2018 and is set for another record year.

Rowan County’s newest hotel, the 93-room Hilton Home 2 located on Jake Alexander in Salisbury opened this month. Business travel to Rowan County will be bolstered in the future with additions to the market such as the Chewy.com distribution center and existing industry expansions.

Neighboring county growth rates were 5% for Cabarrus, 4% in Davie, 5.3% in Davidson, 5.8% in Iredell, 5.6% in Mecklenburg and 4.5% for Stanly County.

The entire North Carolina tourism economy also witnessed strong growth in 2018 rising 5.6% percent to reach an all-time high of $25.3 billion statewide. The tourism industry in North Carolina directly supported 230,300 jobs and generated over $6.3 billion in payroll income across North Carolina in 2018.

The visitor spending figures come from an annual study commissioned and funded by Visit North Carolina a division of the NC Department of Commerce and is conducted by the U.S. Travel Association. The study uses tax revenue data, employment figures and other industry and economic data to determine the overall impact of visitor spending in North Carolina.

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