Ever tried to put a price tag on Southern hospitality? In Wake County, we estimate that the tourism industry brings us around $1.13 billion annually. That averages out to $3.1 million every day, a number many other places would love to reach even on a monthly basis.
Wake County hosts more than 10 million visitors every year on average. People come by plane (via RDU Airport), train (ourAmtrak stations in Raleigh and Cary) and of course automobile (via Interstate 40 and associated roads). These guests contribute to 21,500 jobs related directly to tourism alone.
People visit our area for both work and play. As a state capital, we have people from all parts of North Carolina – and often outside the state as well – coming to work on behalf of their causes. Our colleges and universities attract visiting professors to lecture and study here. And our new convention center is bringing organizations from all over the world to meet and network in a fresh, modern setting. As for fun, we have sports teams (both professional and amateur), live musical and theatre performances, and so much more to entertain our guests.
These activities encourage visitors to spend money as well as time here, and the resulting tax revenues help cut down the amount we as residents have to pay for government services. And the word of mouth that results when people tell other friends and family members what a good time they had, leads to even more visitors and thus more savings for us.
So the next time someone from out of town arrives, show them the gracious behavior they have come to expect from this part of the country because their economic contributions are benefitting us greatly.