LOVE letters

The tourism-promoting LOVE sign while it was featured at Village at Leesburg.

According to data recently released by the U.S. Travel Association, visitor spending in Loudoun County increased for the sixth consecutive year in 2019, contributing almost $2 billion to the local economy.

The data found that Loudoun was the third highest revenue generator in the commonwealth, bringing in $1.9 billion in visitor spending, up 3.6 percent from 2018. Tourism also supported 17,809 jobs and generated $755 million in wages in Loudoun County.

“Tourism remained a strong segment of Loudoun’s economy last year, but we know this industry that we love took a devastating hit in 2020,” Visit Loudoun President and CEO Beth Erickson said in a prepared statement. “Tourism is a critical part of the community and the fact that we show year-over-year growth, demonstrates we are a strong and resilient industry poised to recover. It may take some time, but we will be ready to celebrate when we surpass $2 billion in revenue one day.”

In addition to increased spending, tourism-related state tax receipts for Loudoun in 2019 were about $50.8 million, up 4.6 percent, and local tax receipts were at $29.6 million, up 3.6 percent, according to the data.

The travel industry in the commonwealth has continued to grow 10 years in a row with a compound annual growth rate of 3.9 percent since 2010.

Some of Visit Loudoun’s COVID-19 response efforts have included an online partner portal with access to up-to-date guidelines, information about financial assistance programs, data and analytics.

The organization also implemented a 16-week webinar series, which more than 500 industry professionals attended to learn about everything from leveraging social media to applying for various federal loans and grants.

— Karen Graham

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