Virginia Beach Tourism Pours $3.7B into Local Economy in 2022
The Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau (VBCVB) today announced results from a recent economic impact study that found the destination welcomed 13.6 million visitors in 2022. Visitor expenditures, amounting to $2.4 billion, marked a significant increase of $300 million compared to the previous year and a striking $460 million rise above the spending levels seen in 2019. This had a far-reaching economic impact, encompassing both indirect and induced effects, resulting in a grand total of $3.7 billion for 2022.
“Virginia Beach's tourism success in 2022 highlights the enduring appeal of our city and the resilience of our community,” says Nancy Helman, Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau director. “The substantial increase in visitor spending, its impact on jobs, and the boost in tax revenue reflect the strength of our local economy. We are committed to providing exceptional experiences to our visitors and look forward to building on this success in the years to come.”
This economic ripple sustained 32,704 jobs, equating to 19% of all jobs in the city. In addition, tourism spending contributed $324 million in state and local tax revenues during the same year, offsetting local annual taxes by $1,754 per Virginia Beach household.
Out of the $2.4 billion spent by visitors in Virginia Beach in 2022, food and beverages took the lead with expenditures exceeding $1.0 billion and constituting 42% of the overall visitor spending. Lodging expenses, which encompassed both traditional lodging and short-term rentals, accounted for $661 million and represents 28% of the total visitor spending. Transportation within the destination and recreational activities each claimed an 11% share of visitor spending. Retail expenditures amounted to $220 million, comprising approximately 9% of the total spending.
While day visitors account for nearly six in 10 of the overall market, those who overnight in the coastal city typically stay an average of four nights and have an average household income of $71,100. Drawn by the namesake beach, museums and shopping, 74% of last year’s overnight travelers were repeat visitors and 42% also visited within the last 12 months.
Fueled by pent-up demand, visitor spending surged by 14.5% in 2022, marking a second consecutive year of double-digit growth. As all spending categories enjoyed robust expansion, Virginia Beach has unmistakably transitioned into a full-fledged recovery, with both visitor numbers and spending surpassing the levels recorded in 2019.
“The remarkable findings in this study are a testament to the unwavering dedication of the individuals in our tourism industry who consistently serve as the driving force behind the choice of countless visitors to embrace our cherished destination,” stated Helman. “Our commitment remains steadfast as we persist in delivering an exceptional tourism experience, one that will continue to captivate visitors and draw them to Virginia Beach throughout the entire year.”
The study, centered on the expenditures of Virginia Beach tourists in 2022, was undertaken by Tourism Economics, a subsidiary of Oxford Economics, utilizing an array of local and nationwide data resources and survey instruments.
About Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach, one of Virginia’s most populous cities, resides where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. The city is home to 38 miles of sandy beaches, a flourishing culinary and craft beer scene, rich history, a variety of arts and entertainment, and family-friendly attractions that keep visitors entertained year-round. For more Virginia Beach information, including new attractions and experiences, or to plan your next trip, visit www.visitvirginiabeach.com.
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