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
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: