North Carolina’s tourism industry is booming. Visitors spent $25.3 billion in 2018 across the state –a 5.6 percent from the previous year.
According to a study conducted by U.S. Travel Association, Onslow County had the largest percent increase in visitor spending statewide in 2018.
Jacksonville Tourism Development Authority credits visitor spending to their strategic initiative plan.
By using writers, bloggers, and social media, they’ve reached people outside of the county.
“Most of these folks have very large followings and through that people get interested in our community and want to come visit,” said Michael Lazzara, City of Jacksonville Mayor Pro-Tem and Chairman of the Jacksonville Tourism Development Authority.
Onslow County generated $250 million through tourism last year. The money is beneficial to the community and homeowners as well.
“Essentially that breaks down to $111 tax savings for each resident that lives in our community as well as increasing economic development in our area,” said Lazzara.
The chairman says the study did not include the month of September through December –a short time after Hurricane Florence passed.
Tourism also helps with employment. Lazzara says of the $250 million generated, $50 million is attributed to payroll.