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Thursday, May 23, 2024

New Hanover County tops $1 billion in tourism revenue

Beach-goers relax on a sand bar in Mason Inlet at the north end of Wrightsville Beach. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Beach-goers relax on a sand bar in Mason Inlet at the northend of Wrightsville Beach. (Port City Daily/File)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — There was a 13.9% increase in spending from New Hanover County tourists from 2021, according to an annual study commissioned by Visit North Carolina.

It details more than $1 billion was funneled into the area in 2022, spent by domestic and and international visitors. The study ranks New Hanover County in 7th place for visitor spending across all 100 counties statewide.

“This increase in visitor spending is a welcome sign that tourism in our destination continues to grow,” Kim Hufham, president/CEO of the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority, stated in a press release.

Along with more spending were more hires in tourism employment — 6,676 in 2022, up from 6,142 in 2021. The total county payroll due to tourism was $276.6 million, the report denoted.

Hufham also added that the countywide room occupancy tax collections totaled more than $23.4 million. This equals a 10.67% increase over the 2021 benchmark.

“Our community benefits from visitor spending through job creation and a room tax base that helps fund beach renourishment, the Wilmington Convention Center, ocean safety programs, and other tourism-related projects,” she said in the release. “Additionally, travel-generated state and local tax revenues help offset the tax burden of local citizens.”

Approximately $35.9 million came in from state sales and excise taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income. Local taxes generated $38.9 million from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses.

Travel-generated state and local tax revenues saved each New Hanover County resident an estimated $317.76, according to the report.

Brunswick County brought in $1.09 billion, while Pender County drew in $189.66 million in tourism revenue.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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