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WNC Business

2022 visitor impact for Haywood County released

Aug 28, 2023 02:47PM ● By WNC Business
HAYWOOD COUNTY — Travelers who visited Haywood County in 2022 spent over $336 million at businesses throughout the County, an increase of 4% from 2021. The data comes from an annual study commissioned by Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

"Tourism is not just about bringing visitors to our area; it's about showcasing the unique beauty, culture, and experiences that Haywood County has to offer. It's about supporting our local businesses and creating lasting memories for both visitors and residents alike. Tourism is the heartbeat of our community, driving economic growth, fostering community pride, and ensuring a vibrant future for Haywood County." said Corrina Ruffieux, Executive Director, Haywood County Tourism Development Authority.

Tourism impact highlights for 2022:
• The travel and tourism industry put more than 2,063 people to work in Haywood County.   
• Total payroll in the County was $85.2 million.
• The region collected over $11.4 million in local taxes
• Each resident saved over $379 in taxes last year because of visitor spending

These statistics come from the “Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2022,” which can be accessed at The study was prepared for Visit North Carolina by Tourism Economics in collaboration with the U.S. Travel Association. “North Carolina’s tourism industry draws its success from the authentic culture and experiences that flourish across a spectrum of settings,” said Wit Tuttell, Visit NC’s executive director. “The new report from Tourism Economics shows growth beyond our celebrated mountains and beaches to our urban centers and surrounding suburban and rural counties. Tourism’s strength across the state underscores the industry’s role as an anchor of economic development. The money visitors spend benefits everyone by sustaining jobs and reducing the tax burden for every resident.”       

Highlights from the statewide report include: 
Total spending by domestic and international visitors in North Carolina reached $33.3 billion in 2022. That sum represents a 15.2 percent increase over 2021 expenditures. The figure falls 14 percent above the record $29.22 billion spent in 2019. 

• State tax receipts from visitor spending rose 6.5 percent to nearly $1.3 billion in 2022. 
• Local tax receipts grew 3.5 percent to nearly $1.2 billion.
• Direct tourism employment in North Carolina increased 9.8 percent to 216,900. 
• Visitors spend more than $91 million per day in North Carolina. That spending adds $6.7 million per day to state and local tax revenues (about $3.5 million in state taxes and $3.2 million in local taxes). 
• Each North Carolina household saved $512 on average in state and local taxes as a direct result of visitor spending in the state. Savings per capita averaged $230.
• North Carolina hosted approximately 43 million visitors in 2022. 

About The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority:
The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority, operating as Visit NC Smokies, is a public authority established by enabling legislation at the state level and created to manage the proceeds of a 4% occupancy tax paid by visitors spending the night in paid accommodations throughout the county. The HCTDA drives county-wide economic development and supports hundreds of local small businesses by promoting travel, tourism and visitor services, sponsoring tourism-related events, and financing tourism-related capital projects that both make the destination more appealing to visitors and enhance our community for locals. 
Haywood County Tourism Development Authority