Tourism Revenue Reached $83 Million in Nelson County in 2021



-Statewide visitor spending reached $69 million a day in 2021

 Nelson County, VA– Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) announced that travelers to Virginia spent $69 million a day in 2021, up from $48 million in 2020. Virginia’s tourism revenues also reached $25.2 billion in 2021, marking an 87% recovery to pre-pandemic spending in 2019. This spending supported 185,000 jobs, $7.1 billion in salaries and wages, and $1.8 billion in state and local taxes. 80 of Virginia’s 133 localities fully recovered to 2019 levels of spending and many grew even further.  

“Tourism has seen an incredible comeback thanks to the hardworking leaders in the travel and tourism industry across Virginia,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “As travelers continue to visit communities across the state, Virginia is on pace to restore the tourism industry into the vibrant and highly performing economic engine it always has been. We look forward to an even stronger recovery in 2022.”

Tourism revenue for Nelson County reached $83 million in 2020, a nearly 28% percent increase over 2019.  2020 lodging taxes totaled $33.3 million ($29.3 million in 2019), food and beverage $17.8 million ($12 million in 2019), retail $9.1 million ($6.6 million in 2019), recreation $11.9 million ($7.3 million in 2019) and transportation $10.8 million ($9.7 million in 2019). Local tourism-supported jobs totaled 603, an increase from 583 jobs in 2019. In comparison, 2016 tourism revenues totaled $70.6 million in Nelson County.

Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Jesse Rutherford notes, “While the initial onset of the pandemic had a devastating impact on the travel industry in 2020, domestic leisure travel saw a robust return in 2021 as travelers sought outdoor experiences and drivable destinations. Nelson County is uniquely positioned geographically and is within a day’s drive from nearly half of the U.S. population, as well is a well-known destination for craft beverage and outdoor recreation lovers. As road trips boomed, Nelson County was able to reap the benefits of increased travel.”

For more information about Nelson County Economic Development and Tourism, contact the visitor center at 434-263-7015 or online at


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