Visitor Spending Increases to $4.6 Billion in Mecklenburg Co. | Charlotte NC Travel & Tourism
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Visitor Spending Increases to $4.6 Billion in Mecklenburg Co.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Aug. 18, 2014) – The economic impact of tourism grew by 4.7 percent in 2013, with visitors infusing $4.6 billion in domestic spending into Mecklenburg County. Mecklenburg County represents nearly 23 percent of all travel expenditures in the state and is the number one county in terms or travel spending, nearly 2.5 times the size of the next largest county (Wake County is second at $1.88 billion). 

Visitor spending has seen a steady rise since 2009 and has grown by 39 percent, an average of 9.7 percent each year. More than 46,530 jobs are supported by the tourism industry in Mecklenburg County with a payroll of $1.51 billion, making it an important economic sector with a measurable impact on our community. State and local tax revenues from travel to Mecklenburg County totaled $326 million, representing a $328 tax saving for every county resident. 

In calculating the tourism spending in the Charlotte region, spending totaled more than $5.97 billion. This encompasses 10 counties in North Carolina and three in South Carolina outlined in the Charlotte Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). See table below for further detail on each county in the MSA.

County                    Economic Impact (millions) Employment              State & Local Tax Collections (millions) Tax Savings per Resident
Cabarrus $371.87    3,980 $27.36 $146.70
Chester* $21.94 210 $1.73 $53.16
Gaston $221.66 1,760 $16 $76.33
Iredell $212.61 1,690 $17.9 $108.47
Lancaster* $28.83 250 $2.56 $32.37
Lincoln $48.28 360 $4.03 $50.52
Mecklenburg $4,610.04 46,530 $325.65 $328.29
Rowan $145.28 1,250 $12.18 $87.81
Union $112.76 910 $8.13 $38.43
York* $198.59 1,890 $16.63 $70.88
TOTAL $5,972 58,830 $432.17 $187.83 (Average MSA)

"These numbers represent steady and significant growth for Mecklenburg County and the region,” says CRVA CEO Tom Murray. “We had a continuous stream of impactful events that drew attendees complemented by increased leisure and business sector growth. This type of consistent momentum is what truly creates enduring economic impact that creates jobs and opportunities for our region.” 

Statewide, domestic visitors spend a record $20 billion in 2013, directly generating 198,270 jobs and nearly $4.6 billion in payroll income. North Carolina data was taken from the study "The Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties," available at This study was prepared for the North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development by the US Travel Association.

*South Carolina data reflects 2012 research provided by the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism (SCPRT). Final CRVA totals for 2013 economic impact, employment, state & local tax collections and tax savings per resident are subject to change once SCPRT releases 2012 updated visitor spending in coming weeks.

About Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA)
The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA) works to deliver experiences that uniquely enrich the lives of our visitors and residents. Through leadership in destination development, marketing and venue management expertise, the CRVA leads efforts to maximize the region’s economic potential through visitor spending, creating jobs and opportunities for the community. Brands supported by the CRVA include the Charlotte Convention Center, Time Warner Cable Arena, Bojangles’ Coliseum, Ovens Auditorium, NASCAR Hall of Fame and Visit Charlotte in conjunction with the region’s destination marketing brand, ‘Charlotte’s got a lot.'