Arlington, Loudoun counties have record years for tourism

Fora Hillman of Bloomfield, Virginia, drives her welsh pony along Willisville Road in Western Loudoun County. (AP Photo/Douglas Graham)

Local tourists don’t just visit the D.C. — both Arlington County and Loudoun County in Virginia had healthy gains in visitor spending last year.

In Arlington County, which leads Virginia for tourism spending, visitors spent a record $3.4 billion last year, a 4.3% increase. Tourism in Arlington generated $94 million in local tax receipts and $127 million in state tax receipts.

Local tourism in Arlington County supported almost 27,000 jobs last year.

Loudoun County reports tourism supported almost 18,000 jobs in 2018. Tourists spend $1.84 billion in Loudoun County last year, the fifth consecutive annual increase. Loudoun visitors generated $28.6 million in local tax receipts and $48.6 million in state tax receipts.

Loudoun County ranks third among all Virginia counties for tourism spending.

Tourism data for both counties was released by the U.S. Travel Association this week.

Virginia itself, celebrating the 50th anniversary of its “Virginia is for Lovers” slogan, is a top tourism state.

In 2018, Virginia’s tourism industry had a record $26 billion in travel spending, which contributed $1.8 billion to state and local taxes.

Tourism supported 235,000 jobs in Virginia last year.

The District, which saw a significant drop in international tourists last year still set a tourism record in 2018, with 23.8 million visitors and a record $7.8 billion in tourism spending.

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