Beaufort County posts high numbers in 2017 visitor spending

Published 7:12 pm Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Visitor spending is on the rise in Beaufort County, alongside all 99 other N.C. counties, according to a new report on 2017 figures released by the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina last week.

In 2017, visitors spent $86.55 million dollars in Beaufort County, a 6.38 percent increase from 2016. This, in turn, generated approximately 300 new jobs, increasing the county’s tourism-related payroll by more than a million dollars, from $10.93 million in 2016 to $12.11 million in 2017.

While the increase in visitor spending has been a benefit to the local economy, it has also increased tax revenue at both the state and local level. Tourism in Beaufort County brought in approximately $4.40 million for the state of North Carolina last year, and $5.16 million locally. According to the statistics, these figures represent an overall tax savings of $201.20 per resident.

According to the report, visitor spending in Beaufort County ranked seventh in the state’s northeast prosperity zone, behind Dare, Nash, Currituck, Pitt, Wilson and Halifax counties. Of the 20 counties that fall within that zone, Beaufort County saw the second largest increase in spending from 2016 to 2017, trailing only Hyde County.

Statewide, Beaufort County saw the sixth-largest percent increase in visitor spending, following only Polk, Hyde, Henderson, Pitt and Buncombe counties.

“North Carolina is a welcoming state and destination for travelers from across the world, and tourism continues to help drive economic development statewide,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Anthony Copeland in a recent press release. “Tourism creates jobs and increases state and local tax revenues, growing North Carolina’s economy across all 100 counties.”

According to the release, domestic visitors spent a record $23.99 billion statewide in 2017, an increase of 4.2 percent from 2016. State tax receipts as a result of visitor spending topped $1.2 billion in 2017, and local tax revenues directly resulting from visitor spending totaled $738.6 million. Visitor expenditures directly supported 225,700 jobs and generated more than $6 billion in payroll income across North Carolina.