Virginia Beach Welcomed Record-Breaking 19 Million Visitors in 2017

Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau Announced a Six Percent Increase in Total Visitor Spending of $2.45 Billion

Monday, July 23, 2018

​The Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau announced Virginia Beach set a new tourism milestone for total visitors and visitor spending in 2017, welcoming 19 million domestic visitors who spent $2.45 billion. Visitor arrivals grew for the eighth consecutive year with a 7.34 percent increase from 17.7 million visitors in 2016. Since 2009, visits to Virginia Beach increased by 38 percent, which is 13 percent above the national growth rate, due to strategic marketing efforts and positive visitor experience, according to Longwoods International's Travel USA study.

"Record-breaking arrivals and spending is a testament of the strength of our tourism sector and the values of our city," said Brad Van Dommelen, director of the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau. "We are fortunate that Virginia Beach is committed to our tourism product, which will keep us competitive and allow us to continue to grow arrivals and visitor spending, ultimately boosting the city's economy to greater heights."

Of the 19 million people who visited Virginia Beach last year, 8.9 million were day visitors (a nearly 10 percent increase from 2016), 10.1 million were overnight visitors to the area (up 5 percent from the previous year), and of the 10.1 million, 7.4 million stayed overnight in Virginia Beach. Overnight visitors spent $1.92 billion and day visitors spent $539 million, a 6 percent and 7 percent increase respectively.

"We want to recognize and congratulate our hospitality community for all of their efforts that have contributed to a year of record-breaking visitation," Van Dommelen said. "It's these individuals and businesses that make Virginia Beach a sought-after destination that 19 million people traveled to experience in 2017."

The tourism industry continues to provide a significant positive impact to Virginia Beach's economy, supporting an average of nearly 14,000 jobs in the hospitality industry. Estimates show visitors are expected to generate a record of at least $29.6 million dollars in occupancy tax collections for the city, according to the Economic Indicators Report from the City of Virginia Beach. These dollars are used to fund schools and government services, the tourism investment program (TIP), tourism advertising efforts, and enhance the overall quality of life of Virginia Beach residents. 

The numbers are according to the Longwoods International from their Longwoods Travel USA Study. Longwoods has been studying Virginia Beach visitors for nearly a decade and conducts research that provides a standard visitor tracking tool for many of the country's top tourism destinations.

About the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau
The Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Virginia Beach), the official destination marketing organization for the city of Virginia Beach, is a municipal organization whose mission is to promote the coastal city as a year-round destination for domestic and international leisure travel, business travel, conventions, sports and special events. 

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