The unique experiences offered in Virginia Beach entices national and international visitors to return year after year. Our travel and tourism growth continues to generate a significant economic impact for our community and enhances the quality of life for the citizens of Virginia Beach.
In 2016, Virginia Beach hosted 15.2 million visitors (7.1 million overnight visitors and 8.1 million day visitors) with average visitor spending of $1,955. (Source: Longwoods International)
The annual average household income of visitors to Virginia Beach is $114,821.
Travelers are coming to Virginia Beach from across the country and the globe to experience our world-class restaurants, craft breweries, music festivals, oyster farms, beaches, and more. In 2016, 2.4 million overseas travelers visited the region for leisure or business travel. Visitors from Western Europe accounted for 39% of the region's total visitors.
Even outside of the typical June-August tourism season, Virginia Beach hotels maintain a 62.7 percent occupancy rate, making Virginia Beach a year-round destination.
Economic Impact of Tourism
The research, reported by Virginia Tourism Corporation, shows the city has experienced increases for the past five consecutive years (2012 – 2016) in several key economic impact classifications:
- Virginia Beach visitors spent a record $1.49 billion in 2016, an increase of 6.2 percent over 2015;
- Local tax receipts grew 8.3 percent, reaching almost $59.5 million;
- State tax receipts were reported at $72.5 million, representing an 8.2 percent increase;
- Employment in travel and tourism related jobs in Virginia Beach grew by 5.6 percent, increasing payroll by a substantial 8.5 percent to more than $277 million.
Tourism is an important contributor to Virginia Beach’s local economy. On a regional level, tourism-supported jobs totaled 47,315 ($1.01 billion in salaries) while local and state tourism-related taxes derived from activity in Virginia Beach were $407 million.
On a state level, spending by domestic travelers to Virginia in 2016 equaled $65 million a day. Overall travel expenditures increased 3.3 percent to $23.7 billion. As the fifth largest private employer in Virginia, the travel and tourism industry supported more than 229,000 jobs and $5.6 billion in payroll.
Convention Center Impact
Visitors are attracted to Virginia Beach for many reasons, not just our three world-class beaches. Sports events are a major draw, as is the 516,000 square foot Virginia Beach Convention Center (VBCC) and the numerous major attractions throughout the Virginia Beach MSA. In 2016, the VBCC contributed $9,860,203 direct and indirect revenue to the City.
For more information, contact the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau at www.visitvirginiabeach.com or (757) 385-2000.
2015 Convention and Visitors Bureau Annual Report
Download Economic Impact of Tourism Fact Sheet