9/25/2015 - Tourism in Montgomery County increases in 2014
Demand from tourists results in new products
Christiansburg, Va. - Data released by the United States Travel Association (USTA) reveals that Montgomery County posted an increase in tourism revenue last year.
Tourism was again an important contributor to the local economy in 2014. Travelers to Montgomery County and the towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg spent $136.3 million. This was a 2.8 percent increase over 2013. Local hospitality and tourism jobs totaled 1,330, while local tourism-derived tax revenue reached $8.1 million in combined state and local taxes. 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.
“Visitors traveling to Montgomery County can experience wineries, history, local cuisine, and all the great outdoor activities nearby,” said Connie Hale, owner and executive chef of Buffalo & More in Riner, and member of the Montgomery County Tourism Development Council. “We had a great summer filled with travelers passing to/from the Blue Ridge Parkway via Route 8 through Riner. Interstate 81 travelers also stopped by on their way to local attractions. We look forward to a great fall season!”
With an increased number of tourists entering the area throughout the year the demand for more lodging and dining options is prevalent. New hotels, restaurants, and festivals have been created to invite visitors for an extended stay in the county and two towns.
“We have seen an increase in business and leisure travel,” said Justin Ditmore, director of sales and marketing for Milestone Development. “A feasibility study has shown the increased demand for transient lodging which includes the need for extended stay properties. Homewood Suites by Hilton, an extended stay brand, is scheduled to open in April 2016 in Christiansburg.” Ditmore states this property will be the first of its kind in the area.
Demand for lodging has also increased in Blacksburg. There are two new hotel properties soon to be under construction replacing the Holiday Inn University.
“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 the 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.”
The Virginia Tourism Corporation receives its annual economic impact data from the U.S. Travel Association. The information is based on domestic visitor spending (travelers from within the United States) from per-person trips taken 50 miles or more away from home. Detailed economic impact data by locality is available on www.vatc.org under Research.
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