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Chatham County again experiences increased visitor spending

Posted Friday, August 22, 2014

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Pittsboro, NC— The latest statewide tourism spending report shows that “domestic visitors” spent $30.77 million in Chatham County during 2012, an increase of 4.4 percent from 2012, continuing a multi-year trend of substantial growth in visitor spending.

On August 14, 2014, the North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports released the results of the annual study conducted by the U.S. Travel Association.

Travel and tourism in Chatham County directly employed more than 170 people and generated payroll of $3.59 million.

County Manager Charlie Horne said, “Continued growth in tourism dollars helps an array of local businesses, such as restaurants, accommodations, shops and attractions. We want all of them to be successful.”

Horne noted that visitor spending has a domino effect of boosting the number jobs and boosting local disposable income. “It is a win-win situation when tourism spending goes up.”

The 2013 report showed that travel and tourism in Chatham County directly employed more than 170 people and generated payroll of $3.59 million.

Another measure shows the positive impact of tourism on taxes. In 2013, visitor-related businesses generated approximately $550,000 in local sales tax and property tax revenues and an additional $1.77 million in various kinds of state government tax revenues. This is an estimated tax savings of $34.85 per county resident.

Horne said that Chatham County does a terrific job in boosting visitor spending, “especially considering that this is accomplished by the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) with just one staff person. Most bureaus have several staff members doing the same work.”

Brendan Cox, chef of Oakleaf in Pittsboro, said, “The influx of out-of-county visitors has been a great boon to Oakleaf.” He said that many guests are combining a visit to various local attractions with lunch or dinner at the restaurant.

Cox added, “We see a great number of guests coming from the surrounding counties on weekend evenings. Often, when people make a reservation, they will ask for suggestions on how to spend their time in the area.”

The CVB consistently wins statewide awards for its website, newsletter and creative use of social media to promote tourism. CVB Director Neha Shah routinely helps local businesses more effectively use social media to increase their business, including attracting visitors outside the county.

The CVB has again received national media attention, including additional coverage of our six golf courses with the U.S. Open tournaments this year, particularly with a U.S. Open qualifier held at Governors Club.

Shah said, “We are fortunate to have multiple features to promote—agritourism, spas, golf, farm-to-fork restaurants, craft beer and wine, and much more. All of these provide rich, multi-faceted itineraries.”

Additional information on the CVB and attractions and events in Chatham County can be found here.

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Chatham County again experiences increased visitor spending