Pittsboro, NC – The Governor’s Office and NC Department of Commerce have just released the most recent statewide tourism spending report, which indicates that Chatham County’s “domestic visitors” spent $31.69 million during 2014, an increase of nearly three percent since 2013. This continues a six-year trend of climbing visitor spending in the county.
On August 11, 2015, the North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports released the results of the annual study conducted by the U.S. Travel Association. The 2014 calendar year is the time period of the report.
County Manager Charlie Horne said, “We know that this trend will continue with so many exciting things happening in Chatham County and a strong Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) to help us attract more visitors. The new Agriculture and Convention Center opening in spring 2016 also will fill a major gap needed for increased tourism.”
Neha Shah, director of the CVB, said that the county is focusing its efforts over the next few months on opening the Agriculture and Conference Center. “It will host an array of events, including trade shows, corporate functions, conventions, seminars, weddings, performances and many other interesting activities. These will draw even more visitors to Chatham County with new opportunities to show off our many visitor assets.”
An important result of increased visitors is the positive impact it has on the entire local economy, said Shah. “The 2014 report showed that travel and tourism in Chatham County directly employed more than 180 people and generated payroll of $3.73 million, which puts more dollars into local businesses.”
The report also measures the positive impact of tourism on taxes. In 2014, visitor-related business in Chatham County generated approximately $570,000 in local sales tax and property tax revenues and also contributed another $1.82 million in state tax revenues. This is an estimated tax savings of $34.81 per county resident.
Horne applauded the efforts of the county’s CVB, which operates with just one staff person at this time. “Most bureaus have several staff members doing the same work with fewer results. Our CVB continues to win many awards for its communications and marketing programs that help visitor-related businesses be successful.”
Sara O’Leary, director of marketing & membership for Governors Club, said, “Chatham County is an attractive place to visit and call home, and this message is ringing true for many people. Local businesses and institutions working together to deliver the message that Chatham County offers a vibrant quality of life bears fruit with the six continuous years of significant growth in tourism.”
O’Leary added, “We are glad that Governors Club plays a role by maintaining its commitment to hosting prestigious golf tournaments and welcoming visitors from all around the world to experience the caliber of offerings in Chatham County. In September, we will welcome back legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his world-class Signature Golf Course Design.”
Additional information on the CVB and attractions and events in Chatham County can be found at: VisitChathamCounty.com