WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - New Hanover County enjoyed an increase in visitor spending in 2017 and Kim Hufham, the president of the county's Tourism Development Authority, was on WECT News Now at 4:30 p.m. Friday to discuss the economic impact.
An annual study commissioned by Visit North Carolina found visitor spending rose in 90 percent of North Carolina counties last year. New Hanover ranks eighth in the state in tourism expenditures.
"Tourism affects so many things and when the numbers are good, it's better for New Hanover County," Hufham said. "We have a wonderful destination (and) we're a year-round destination. ... Lots of good things are happening and people are becoming more and more aware of us."
Travel and tourism in the county generated $51.5 million in state and local tax receipts and the county-wide economic impact from domestic travel is estimated at $578.2 million, representing a 4.32 percent increase from 2016 expenditures.
Hufham said it's the seventh consecutive year New Hanover County has had record-breaking tourism spending and direct tourism employment.