Visit Virginia Blue Ridge reports record year in tourism

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - The latest numbers are out and tourism in Virginia's Blue Ridge achieves its sixth consecutive year of growth, setting a new record high.

Last year, tourism brought in $58 million in tax revenue to the region. This is up 2.1 percent, as travel related spending reached $800 million.

Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge credits aggressive marketing initiatives from localities advertising the region's tourism attractions.

The area also saw an increase in tourism-supported jobs totaling nearly 7,800.

The investment by the Cities of Roanoke and Salem as well as the Counties of Roanoke, Franklin and Botetourt allowed Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge to market the region's tourism assets and maximize its economic impact.

"Tourism is BIG Business for Virginia's Blue Ridge which proves that Virginia is for Mountain Lovers", said Lee Wilhelm, Chair of Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge. "The travel and tourism industry plays a key role in economic development and growth in the region, providing valuable jobs and revenue."