Chapel Hill, NC - (August 28, 2018) – Visit North Carolina announced recently that domestic visitors to and within Orange County, NC spent $197.99 million in 2017, a 2.67% increase from 2016. This represents a tax savings of $105.53 per county resident.

Tourism continues to be a major driver of economic development in Orange County and across the state.

“We cite the improved economy, a strong surge in consumer travel and greater demand for our hotels, University and overall destinations offerings as the reasons for this continued spending growth,” said Laurie Paolicelli, executive director of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau.  In addition the Visitors Bureau, in partnership with the hospitality industry, works hard to tell our story to the traveling public day after day.”

Paolicelli said that the Atlantic Coast is the top source of visitors for Orange County, from the drive markets from Washington D.C., to Atlanta.

Orange County Tourism impact highlights for 2017:

•     The travel and tourism industry directly employs 1,910 in Orange County, up 1.91% over 2016.
•     Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Orange County was $40.07 million, a 6.96% increase.
•     State tax revenue generated in Orange County totaled $10.69 million through state sales and excise taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income. This is a 1.89% increase over 2016.
•     About $4.33 million in local taxes, an increase of 4.12%, were generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses.

These statistics are from the “Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2017.” The study was prepared for Visit North Carolina by the U.S. Travel Association.  Economic impact is represented by measures of spending, employment, payroll, and tax revenues from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses.

Gov. Roy Cooper announced in May that visitors to North Carolina set a record for spending in 2017. The $23.99 billion in total spending represented an increase of 4.2 percent from 2016.


About the Study

The study provides preliminary 2017 estimates of domestic traveler expenditures in North Carolina, as well as the employment, payroll income, state and local tax revenues directly generated by these expenditures. The statistical model is run by the Research Department of the U.S. Travel Association based on highly detailed North Carolina data that Visit NC provides to them, as well as from a variety of other government and proprietary sources, and uses a combination of data inputs derived from U.S. federal government and state government, nationally-known private and non-profit travel organizations and other travel industry statistics.

About the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau

As the official accredited destination marketing organization of Chapel Hill and Orange County, the mission of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau is to develop and coordinate visitor services in Orange County and to implement marketing programs that will enhance the economic activity and quality of life in the community. The Visitors Bureau is a department of Orange County, NC Government. For information: