Arlington retained its top position statewide in total domestic-tourism spending for 2018, according to new data, slightly widening the narrow advantage it maintains over neighboring Fairfax County.
Spending by U.S. visitors in Arlington last year is estimated at $3.4 billion, according to figures developed for the Virginia Tourism Corp. by the U.S. Travel Association and reported in early September.
That’s up 4.3 percent from 2017 and increases the gap between Arlington and Fairfax County from $95 million in 2017 to $100 million in 2018.
In addition to Arlington and, at $3.3 billion, Fairfax County, the top five localities for domestic-tourism spending were Loudoun County ($1.84 billion), Virginia Beach ($1.63 billion) and Henrico County ($963.5 million). The top five localities represent 43 percent of the statewide total, a rate unchanged from a year before.
Portia Conerly, acting director of the Arlington Convention and Visitors Center, said the county’s position at the top of the heap – which it has held for years – is the result of “the power of committed partnerships throughout our hospitality community and the local government.” She singled out the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, business-improvement districts and regional tourism organizations as supporting efforts to attract both tourists and business travelers.
Among other Northern Virginia localities, Alexandria finished seventh in domestic spending statewide, while Prince William County ranked ninth. All told, 43 of Virginia’s 133 counties and cities generated domestic-tourism spending of $100 million or more for the year.
According to the report, every $110,210 in domestic-tourism spending supports one job in the commonwealth’s tourism industry.