2022 Visitor Impact for Surry County, North Carolina


County Spending Increases by 7.3% Percent to $147.04 million.

Mount Airy, Surry County N.C. — Domestic and international visitors to and within Surry County spent $147.04 million in 2022, an increase of 7.3% from 2021. The data comes from an annual study commissioned by Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

“These latest numbers released from Visit North Carolina demonstrate the significance of tourism as a strong economic driver and contributor to the local economy by providing jobs, tax revenue & receipts to Surry County showing the value it adds to our community. It also shows that because visitors coming into our County saves each resident in Surry County $145.26 in savings for taxes of each resident. Tourism is the fertilizer to economic development and is critical to our local economy because the industry brings in those necessary outside dollars to be spent in Surry County. The breakdown shows that the lodging impact at $32.82 million, Food & Beverage at $48.75 million, Recreation at $15.07 million, Retail at $11.80 million and Transport at $37.91 million of impact for each industry within the tourism & hospitality industry. The Tourism industry in Surry County has completely rebounded from the Covid-19 Pandemic in 2020 with leisure and recreational travelers leading the way in our area. Surry County has a variety of lodging options, authentic and well-known local restaurants, breweries, wineries, wedding venues, festivals, shopping in downtowns, recreational opportunities and provides a wonderful opportunity to those to getaway.” Jessica Icenhour Roberts, Executive Director of the Mount Airy Tourism Development Authority and Tourism Partnership of Surry County.

Tourism impact highlights for 2022:

  • The travel and tourism industry directly employees more than 904 in Surry County.
  • Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Surry County was $36.02 million.
  • State tax revenue generated in Surry County totaled $6.00 million through state sales and excise taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income. About $4.30 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 2022,” 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 2022 rose 15.2 percent to reach a record $33.3 billion. Direct tourism employment increased 9.8 percent to 216,900. “North Carolina’s tourism industry draws its success from the authentic culture and experiences that flourish across a spectrum of settings,” said Wit Tuttell, Visit NC’s executive director. “The new report from Tourism Economics shows growth beyond our celebrated mountains and beaches to our urban centers and surrounding suburban and rural counties. Tourism’s strength across the state underscores the industry’s role as an anchor of economic development. The money visitors spend benefits everyone by sustaining jobs and reducing the tax burden for every resident.”

Highlights from the statewide report include:

  • Total spending by domestic and international visitors in North Carolina reached $33.3 billion in 2022.That sum represents a 15.2 percent increase over 2021 expenditures. The figure falls 14 percent above the record $29.22 billion spent in 2019.
  • Domestic travelers spent a record $32.4 billion in 2022. Spending was up 13.4 percent from $28.6 billion in 2021.
  • International travelers spent $910 million in 2022, up 170 percent from the previous year.
  • Visitors to North Carolina generated $4.2 billion in federal, state and local taxes in 2022. The total represents a 7.9 percent increase from 2020.
  • State tax receipts from visitor spending rose 6.5 percent to nearly $1.3 billion in 2022.
  • Local tax receipts grew 3.5 percent to nearly $1.2 billion.
  • Direct tourism employment in North Carolina increased 9.8 percent to 216,900.
  • Direct tourism payroll increased 13.5 percent to $8.7 billion.
  • Visitors spend more than $91 million per day in North Carolina. That spending adds $6.7 million per day to state and local tax revenues (about $3.5 million in state taxes and $3.2 million in local taxes).
  • Each North Carolina household saved $512 on average in state and local taxes as a direct result of visitor spending in the state. Savings per capita averaged $230.
  • North Carolina hosted approximately 43 million visitors in 2022.

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