Pender County Tourism announces another record year in visitor economic impact.

Domestic and international visitors in Pender County spent $189.66 million in 2022, an increase of 14.7 percent from 2021. The data comes from an annual study commissioned by Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

“The tourism industry in Pender County continues to grow, and once again visitor spending hit an all-time high in our county,” says Tammy Proctor, Pender County tourism director. “Tourism is driven by natural resources and outdoor recreation, history, agriculture, aquaculture and film. Pender County offers visitors all these attractions.”

The travel and tourism industry in Pender County directly employs more than 1,000 people. The total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Pender County was $39.6 million.

Pender County NC Tourism

The state tax revenue generated in Pender County totaled $6.2 million through state sales and excise taxes and taxes on personal and corporate income. About $8.9 million in local taxes was generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses. The taxes generated by visitors save each Pender County resident $231.98.

The statistics come from the Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2022 study. The study was prepared for Visit North Carolina by Tourism Economics in collaboration with the US Travel Association.

Statewide, visitor spending in 2022 rose 15.2 percent to reach a record $33.3 billion. Urban areas, which experienced a decline during the pandemic, have rebounded.

Pender County Tourism

“North Carolina’s tourism industry draws its success from the authentic culture and experiences that flourish across a spectrum of settings,” says Wit Tuttell, Visit NC’s executive director. “The new report from Tourism Economics shows growth beyond our celebrated mountains and beaches to our urban centers and surrounding suburban and rural counties. Tourism’s strength across the state underscores the industry’s role as an anchor of economic development. The money visitors spend benefits everyone by sustaining jobs and reducing the tax burden for every resident.”

The tourism industry is vital to the economic development of Pender County.

“For the last five years, Pender County has set new visitor spending records and increased the number of jobs,” Proctor says. “That’s excellent economic development.”

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