Valley, VA – November 2019 / Newsmaker Alert / With
the iconic tourism campaign, Virginia is For Lovers, celebrating its 50th
anniversary this year, now seems a good time to take stock in what tourism
means to the Shenandoah Valley.
Valley Travel Association was formed in 1924 (as Shenandoah Valley,
Inc.) to promote tourism to the region. The 1920s and 1930s saw the construction
of a number of major hotels in cities and towns like Winchester, Harrisonburg,
Luray, and Staunton as well as the authorization of Shenandoah National
economic health of the Valley has long been intertwined with the tourism
industry. The region is rich in natural beauty, heritage, and culture which
all serve to attract visitors.
the last 95 years, the tourism industry in the Valley has continued to
expand and diversify. Tourism now generates a significant positive economic
impact on our community.
500 new hotel rooms have been added in the Shenandoah Valley over the past
few years, and hundreds more will be coming online in 2020.
The ripple effect of this lodging increase will add more tourism-related
businesses and increase the number of tourism and hospitality jobs. According
to the Virginia Employment Commission’s projections, the number of jobs
in tourism and hospitality is expected to grow 12% between 2016 and 2026.
the scenic beauty is a longstanding draw for tourists, outdoor recreation
and associated events are becoming more and more prevalent. Triathlons,
adventure races, cycling events, etc. bring thousands of participants to
the Valley all year, benefitting both major cities and small, rural towns.
And considering the increase in vineyards and craft breweries, plus music
festivals, museums, and fine restaurants, there are more reasons than ever
to visit the Shenandoah Valley,” says John Robbins of the Shenandoah Valley
Travel Association (SVTA).
for anchor cities throughout the Shenandoah Valley continue to trend up
over time. In looking at the most recently available figures (2018 over
2017), the Virginia Tourism Corporation reports Staunton
is up 5.8% ($51,655,044 in 2018), Harrisonburg
is up 5.3% ($131,396,786 in 2018), Winchester
is up 4.4% ($122,110,543 in 2018), and Lexington
is up 3.9% ($35,501,401 in 2018). These expenditures represent direct spending
by domestic travelers including food, accommodations, auto transportation,
public transportation, incidental purchases, entertainment/recreation,
and travel generated tax receipts.
data provided by the U.S. Travel Association indicates that the Shenandoah
Valley of Virginia generated $1.5 billion in direct visitor spending in
2018. And travel continues to rise. The U.S. Travel Association’s latest
Trends Index (TTI) marks the industry’s 116th straight month of growth
for travel to and within the United States.
tourism industry generated a record $26 billion in tourist spending in
2018. Tourists are defined as those who were either on an overnight trip
or traveled 50 miles or more away from home. Domestic tourists spend roughly
$71 million/day in Virginia. Tourism is the fifth-largest employer in Virginia,
supporting 234,000 jobs statewide, according to the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
addition to diversifying and strengthening the local economic base, tourism
can also increase community visibility, add cultural and art assets, and
generate new economic development inquiries.
Shenandoah Valley Travel Association (SVTA)
in 1924, SVTA is one of the oldest
regional tourism promotional organizations of its kind in the United States.
The association promotes the tourism assets of the beautiful and historic
Shenandoah Valley to the rest of the world. Our beautiful year-round destination
offers some of the East Coast’s most spectacular natural landscapes, outstanding
outdoor recreation, historic sites and attractions, plus charming small
cities surrounded by working farms, orchards, vineyards, and craft breweries.
For more information: VisitShenandoah.org
Marketing Committee: Helen Morton
Media Relations: Kathy