2021Visitor Impact for Ashe County

AP Sports
September 2, 2022
Friday, September 2nd
September 2, 2022

2021Visitor Impact for Ashe County

2021Visitor Impact for Ashe County

County Spending Increases by 26.6 Percent to $104 Million

West Jefferson, N.C. — Domestic and international visitors to and within Ashe County spent $104 million in 2021, an increase of 27% from 2020. The data comes from an annual study commissioned by Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

“Visitor spending in Ashe County is crucial to keeping our businesses open and our neighbors working.  We are fortunate to have such diversity in our tourism offerings – the beautiful scenery, varied outdoor activities, vibrant music and arts events, agritourism, moto tourism… the list goes on! The benefits for the local residents are numerous, including the tax savings for each Ashe County household,” states Kitty Honeycutt, executive director of the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.  “We are also fortunate to be one of only 14 counties in North Carolina to have an increase in visitor spending in both 2020 and 2021.”

Tourism impact highlights for 2021

  • The travel and tourism industry directly employees more than 525 in Ashe County.
  • Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Ashe was $20 million.
  • State tax revenue generated in Ashe totaled $3.8 million through state sales and excise taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income. About $4.6 million in local taxes were generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses.

These statistics come from the “Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2021,” which can be accessed at partners.visitnc.com/economic-impact-studies. The study was prepared for Visit North Carolina by Tourism Economics in collaboration with the U.S. Travel Association.

Statewide, visitor spending in 2021 rebounded by 44.9 percent to reach $28.9 billion. Following the devastating pandemic-related losses of the 2020, the total fell just short of the record $29.22 spent in 2019. Direct tourism employment increased 10.5 percent to 197,500.

“These findings are something that everyone in North Carolina can celebrate,” said Visit NC Director Wit Tuttell. “They’re a testament to the resilience of our businesses and our residents, and to the enduring appeal of destinations that include everything a traveler might want. The economic well-being of the state and all its communities rises with the pleasures travelers find in the natural beauty of our public spaces, our culinary traditions and innovation, our remarkable towns and our spirited cities. North Carolina can claim it all.”

Statewide highlights include:

  • Total spending by domestic and international visitors in North Carolina reached $28.9 billion in 2021.That sum represents a 44.9 percent increase over 2020 expenditures. The figure falls 1 percent below the record $29.22 billion spent in 2019.
  • Domestic travelers spent a record $28.6 billion in 2021. Spending was up 45.2 percent from $19.7 billion in 2020.
  • International travelers spent $337 million in 2021, up 25.6 percent from the previous year.
  • Visitors to North Carolina generated $3.9 billion in federal, state and local taxes in 2021. The total represents a 29 percent increase from 2020.
  • State tax receipts from visitor spending rose 34 percent to nearly $1.2 billion in 2021.
  • Local tax receipts grew 26 percent to $1.1 billion.
  • Direct tourism employment in North Carolina increased 10.5 percent to 197,500.
  • Direct tourism payroll increased 18.9 percent to $7.7 billion.
  • Visitors spent more than $79 million per day in North Carolina. That spending added $6.4 million per day to state and local tax revenues (about $3.3 million in state taxes and $3.1 million in local taxes).
  • Each North Carolina household saved $580 on average in state and local taxes as a direct result of visitor spending in the state. Savings per capita averaged $222.
  • North Carolina hosted nearly 45 million visitors in 2021.



Kitty Honeycutt