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Willowcroft Farm Vineyards. Photo courtesy Visit Loudon

Visitor spending in Loudoun County increased for the fifth consecutive year in 2018, generating $1.84 billion, according to data released by the U.S. Travel Association this week.

Loudoun ranks third in visitor spending in Virginia, and revenue was up 4.4% from 2017, according to the data. Tourism also supported 17,673 jobs and generated $720 million in wages in Loudoun County.

“The continued increase in visitor spending is a testament to the value of tourism in Loudoun County,” said Visit Loudoun President and CEO Beth Erickson. “Loudoun not only offers a diverse product that is appealing to visitors from across the world, but tourism is also embraced by elected officials and the community, which helps the industry thrive.”

In addition to increased spending, tourism-related state tax receipts for Loudoun in 2018 were about $48.6 million, up 2.9%, and local tax receipts were at $28.6 million, up 2.3%. The transient occupancy tax, collected from Loudoun’s hotels and other lodging properties, has also seen steady growth. Since fiscal 2016, it has increased 28%, standing at $6.4 million in fiscal 2019.

Visit Loudoun had several initiatives last year that helped elevate the destination. In 2018, the tourism organization launched the successful LoCo Ale Trail Passport program as well as hosted the national Beer Bloggers Conference. It also helped with the creation of the Loudoun County Artisan Trail and hosted various sports tournaments and meetings that help drive overnight stays.

“Visit Loudoun has made a concerted effort over the last few years to create engaging marketing campaigns and reach new markets with its sales and sports initiatives,” Erickson said. “The steady growth in tourism revenue shows we are delivering on our promise to showcase all Loudoun County has to offer.”

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