Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge (formerly the Roanoke Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau) along with the region's tourism industry achieved record performance in 2015 with increased travel expenditures reaching $800 million, a 2.1 percent increase over 2014. 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 aggressively market the region's tourism assets, maximizing economic impact.
Partnerships with attractions, lodging, retail and dining establishments are key to this success. The result is increased tourism-supported jobs which totaled 7,793 while local tourism-related taxes were $58 million. All data was received by the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) from the US Travel Association and is based on domestic visitor spending (travelers from within the United States) from trips taken 50 miles or more away from home.
"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."