Sampson Independent

Study: Boost in spending for Sampson

Domestic visitors to and within Sampson County spent $52.21 million in 2017, an increase of 3.19 percent from 2016, Visit North Carolina recently announced.

“Travel and tourism is an important economic generator that infused many dollars into our local economy last year. The economic impact of travel and tourism in Sampson County increased over 3 percent,” stated Sheila Barefoot, director of the Sampson County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). “Not only does our county benefit from the visitor industry in dollars, but visitors and our local residents also benefit from the quality of life in which it contributes.

“We are excited of all of the new things that we are working on in Sampson County.”

The travel and tourism industry directly employs more than 300 people in Sampson County and the total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Sampson County during 2017 was $7.23 million, according to statistics.

State tax revenue generated in Sampson totaled $2.94 million through state sales and excise taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income. About $1.69 million in local taxes were generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses, stats provided through the CVB and compiled by Visit NC showed. Tax savings per Sampson resident as a result was tallied at $73.32.

Gov. Roy Cooper announced in May that visitors to North Carolina set a record for spending in 2016. The $22.9 billion in total spending represented an increase of 4.4 percent from 2015.

The statistics were provided as part of a study entitled, “Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2016,” which can be accessed at The study was prepared for Visit North Carolina by the U.S. Travel Association.

“All eight economic development regions of the state had spending growth of 3 percent or more, and 96 percent of the state’s counties saw direct tourism employment growth from 2015 to 2016,” said Wit Tuttell, executive director of Visit North Carolina. “Tourism continues to be major driver of economic development across North Carolina, which is the sixth most-visited state in the country.”

According to the study, statewide statistics also included the following:

• State tax receipts as a result of visitor spending rose 5.1 percent to nearly $1.2 billion in 2016.

• Visitors spend more than $62 million per day in North Carolina. That spending adds more than $5.1 million per day to state and local tax revenues (about $3.2 million in state taxes and $1.9 million in local taxes).

• The travel and tourism industry directly employs more than 219,000 North Carolinians.

• Each North Carolina household saves $497 in state and local taxes as a direct result of visitor spending in the state.

Travel, tourism revenue up 3 percent

Staff reports

Managing Editor Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 2587.