According to the 2014 economic impact report just released, tourism was once again a major contributor to the local economy. Travel expenditures for Virginia's Blue Ridge (including the cities of Roanoke and Salem and counties of Botetourt, Franklin and Roanoke) reached $784,452,109, a 3.9 percent increase over 2013. Regional tourism-supported jobs totaled 7,602 while state and local tourism-related tax collections were $55,588,166. All data was received by the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) from 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 an instant revenue generator for the Commonwealth, attracting millions of visitors every year looking to discover why Virginia is for Lovers," said Rita McClenny, President and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. "2014 was another exciting year for travel and tourism industries in Virginia, and we are thrilled to see such continued improvement in our tourism economy. Tourism is a driving force of Virginia's economy - it creates jobs, generates economic impact, and benefits businesses and communities across the state."

"Tourism is BIG business and we're pleased to see healthy growth in this region," said Landon Howard, President of the Roanoke Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau. Howard went on to say, "the real credit goes to the region's tourism industry and their commitment to working together to offer an excellent visitor experience."

Detailed economic impact data by locality is available at