Guilford County Ranks Third in NC For Travel & Tourism Spending
Figures from the state Commerce Department show visitor spending increased in all 100 of North Carolina's counties in 2012. Guilford County ranks third, with around $1,159.15 billion.
Henri Fourrier, president of the Greensboro Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, explains why the county continues to see an increase in tourism dollars.
“It’s like they say in real estate, location, location. That is one of the secrets to our success, as well as the affordability in Greensboro. We are also in the middle of the Eastern Seaboard,” says Fourrier.
Fourrier says several facilities and events are also a big draw for visitors.
“We have two fantastic facilities in the city with the Koury Convention Center and also the Greensboro Area Coliseum Complex. These facilities enable us to compete in the national market place,” says Fourrier.
Fourrier says several new attractions in Greensboro, including the Carolina SciQuarium at the Natural Science Center and the Aquatic Center have also boosted tourism spending in the county.
He says the travel dollars are also having a big impact on the local economy. There are more than 12,000 people in Guilford County directly employed in the travel and tourism industry.
“There are some people who say tourism really doesn’t affect me because I don’t own a hotel, or a restaurant or gift shop. When you look at these numbers that is not true because I believe that billion dollar expenditure generates around $25 million that goes into the local city government to help pay for our police, libraries and parks and firemen,” says Fourrier.
According to the data from the Commerce department's Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development, Mecklenburg and Wake counties also had more than a billion dollars in visitor spending in 2012.
The study says Forsyth County had more than half a billion dollars in travel and tourism expenditures last year.
Overall, domestic visitors to and within North Carolina spent a record 19-point-4 billion dollars in 2012, an increase of 5 percent from 2011.