VTC credits the Shenandoah Valley for tourism recovery

Harrisonburg sees a big boost in 2021 tourism spending.
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 10:42 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The Virginia Tourism Corporation released new state tourism data on Tuesday.

VTC noted an 87% rate of tourism recovery since the pandemic. It said the Shenandoah Valley, Coastal Virginia, and the Blue Ridge Highlands were the three main contributors to recovery. In 2021, Harrisonburg alone saw a 52% increase in tourism spending.

Harrisonburg Tourism Manager Jennifer Bell said her team has worked really hard the past couple of years to boost tourism in the city, so the numbers are validating.

“People have found that we’re a great base camp, where they can stay here. They can shower after a long day on the trail. They can be comfortable and still go out and do the outdoor activities that they love,” she said.

Bell mentioned that tourism not only benefits the city’s economy but the residents as well.

”Almost 2,300 jobs in our community are related to tourism, and tourism spending brought in almost $11 million in local taxes. That means all those tourism dollars are tax dollars coming in and are tax dollars that local residents don’t have to pay,” she said.

The Shenandoah Valley offers a wide array of activities like outdoor adventures, historic places to visit, museums, and so on. Bell said Harrisonburg is no different; that mimics the city’s diverse population.

She encourages people in the area to download the Visit Harrisonburg VA! app, visit their website, or stop by the Visitor’s Center to keep up with all the fun activities to come.

The Visitor’s Center is also a good resource for new residents to get acquainted with the area.