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September 19, 2006

The value of tourism

Tourism is big business in North Carolina, says N.C. State University economist Mike Walden, with the latest estimates showing that visitors spend an estimated $14 billion each year here.

“And the tourist industry, when you include all tourist-related activities -- like lodging, food service, transportation, all those things -- tourism employs about 180,000 North Carolinians,” says Dr. Walden, a professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“Now of that $14 billion, of course, all of that doesn’t go to North Carolina folks. For example, if you buy a shirt at the beach that has maybe ‘Topsail Beach’ across it, that shirt may have been manufactured off shore in another country, and so the North Carolina retailer is only getting a small part of that,” he adds.

“So economists who have tried to dissect that $14 billion and say what part of that stays in North Carolina estimate it’s about $8 billion a year -- still a very, very significant contribution to the economy.”

Posted by deeshore at September 19, 2006 12:25 PM