2022 Visitor Impact for Iredell County

Last Updated 8/21/2023

County Spending Increases by 12.8% Percent to $367.9 Million

Domestic and international visitors to and within Iredell County spent $367.9 million in 2022, an increase of 12.8% from 2021. The data comes from an annual study commissioned by Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

"In 2022, the continued growth in visitor spending in Iredell County has once again highlighted the undeniable value of tourism to our community. The increase of 12.8% to $367.9 million is not just a statistic, but a testament to the enduring allure of our county's attractions and the warm hospitality we offer.

The tourism industry has a profound impact, touching every facet of Iredell County's economy. With over 2,335 individuals employed directly in the travel and tourism sector, it's evident that tourism provides not only memorable experiences for our visitors but also essential livelihoods for our residents.

The $91 million in total payroll generated by the tourism industry echoes loudly as it circulates through our local businesses, supporting families and fostering growth. Equally impressive is the $14.2 million in state tax revenue and $11.9 million in local taxes, generated from both sales and property tax revenue. These financial contributions power our community's infrastructure, enriching the lives of those who call Iredell County home.

As we reflect on these remarkable figures, we're reminded that behind every dollar spent is a story of exploration, connection, and discovery. Together, we continue to build a thriving destination that not only captivates the hearts of visitors but also uplifts the dreams of our own citizens.

Here's to another year of embracing the boundless opportunities that tourism brings to Iredell County, and to the partnerships that make it all possible."

Cindy Charlton Sutton,  Executive Director - Statesville Convention & Visitors Bureau

Tourism impact highlights for 2022:

  • The travel and tourism industry directly employs more than 2,335 in Iredell County. 
  • Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Iredell County was $91 million.
  • State tax revenue generated in Iredell County totaled $14.2 million through state sales and excise taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income. 
  • About $11.9 million in local taxes were generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses.
  • These statistics come from the “Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2022,” which can be accessed at partners.visitnc.com/economic-impact-studies. The study was prepared for Visit North Carolina by Tourism Economics in collaboration with the U.S. Travel Association.

Statewide, visitor spending in 2022 rose 15.2 percent to reach a record $33.3 billion. Direct tourism employment increased 9.8 percent to 216,900.

“North Carolina’s tourism industry draws its success from the authentic culture and experiences that flourish across a spectrum of settings,” said Wit Tuttell, Visit NC’s executive director. “The new report from Tourism Economics shows growth beyond our celebrated mountains and beaches to our urban centers and surrounding suburban and rural counties. Tourism’s strength across the state underscores the industry’s role as an anchor of economic development. The money visitors spend benefits everyone by sustaining jobs and reducing the tax burden for every resident.”


Highlights from the statewide report include:

Total spending by domestic and international visitors in North Carolina reached $33.3 billion in 2022.That sum represents a 15.2 percent increase over 2021 expenditures. The figure falls 14 percent above the record $29.22 billion spent in 2019.

  • Domestic travelers spent a record $32.4 billion in 2022. Spending was up 13.4 percent from $28.6 billion in 2021.
  •  International travelers spent $910 million in 2022, up 170 percent from the previous year.
  • Visitors to North Carolina generated $4.2 billion in federal, state and local taxes in 2022. The total represents a 7.9 percent increase from 2020.
  • State tax receipts from visitor spending rose 6.5 percent to nearly $1.3 billion in 2022.
  • Local tax receipts grew 3.5 percent to nearly $1.2 billion.
  • Direct tourism employment in North Carolina increased 9.8 percent to 216,900.
  • Direct tourism payroll increased 13.5 percent to $8.7 billion.
  • Visitors spend more than $91 million per day in North Carolina. That spending adds $6.7 million per day to state and local tax revenues (about $3.5 million in state taxes and $3.2 million in local taxes).
  • Each North Carolina household saved $512 on average in state and local taxes as a direct result of visitor spending in the state. Savings per capita averaged $230
  • North Carolina hosted approximately 43 million visitors in 2022.
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