Visitor spending in Wayne County increases by 6.7% to a total of $190.86 million

Goldsboro, N.C. — Domestic visitors to and within Goldsboro-Wayne County spent $190.86 million in 2019, an increase of 6.7% from 2018’s total of $178.92. The data comes from an annual study commissioned by Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

“Years of growing demand and rising average daily rates in our hotel market has put Goldsboro-Wayne County on a record-breaking streak over the last 8 years. Typically, we see growth anywhere between 4-5% when comparing year to year, but 2019 set a new record with a 6.7% jump in visitor spending. Last year was the first fully operational year for both the Bryan Multi-Sports Complex and Maxwell Center. Our research determined a combined visitor spending impact of over $9 million on our market in 2019 from group travel. We also see a correlation between the economic success of downtown Goldsboro and the increase of travel in our market. Unique businesses in the historic district have made it an attractive experience for both our visitors and residents to shop, dine, and explore. 2019 was also an air show year for Seymour Johnson AFB. The two-day Wings Over Wayne Air Show had an estimated $6 million impact on our Wayne County economy from visitor spending. Over the last two years, our tourism department has increased its marketing and public relations efforts that contribute to the growing awareness and interest to visit Goldsboro-Wayne County for sports, meetings, leisure, and even culinary travel, thanks to our BBQ scene. While our tourism economy has seen a positive trend over recent years, it’s no secret that 2020 is the exception. The impact of Covid-19 has devastated the travel and tourism industry across the world. The damage isn’t unique to Goldsboro-Wayne County, which means our department will be working alongside various agencies to piece together the long road to recovery, so we can soon see a healthy tourism economy with a record-breaking streak once again.” -Ashlin Glatthar, Director of Travel & Tourism for Goldsboro-Wayne County

Tourism impact highlights for 2019:

  • The travel and tourism industry directly employs more than 1,500 in Wayne County, which is a 3.7% change from 2018. 
  • The total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Wayne County was $27.19 million.
  • State and local tax revenues generated from travel to Wayne County totaled $14.7 million. Of that $14.7 million, about $2.92 million in local taxes were generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses.

Visitors to North Carolina set a record for spending in 2019. The $26.7 billion in total spending represented an increase of 5.6 percent from 2018.

These statistics are from the “Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2019,” which can be accessed at The study was prepared for Visit North Carolina by the U.S. Travel Association.

“The numbers confirm the strength of North Carolina’s tourism industry as an anchor of economic development,” said Wit Tuttell, director of Visit North Carolina. “As the No. 6 state in the country for overnight visitation, we can attribute our success to the natural beauty and authenticity that visitors experience, and to a passionate effort to inform and inspire travelers. The money they spend benefits everyone by sustaining jobs and reducing our residents’ tax burden.”

Hi I'm CoDa, the City's fully automated ChatBot. I know about our Council Members, phone numbers, trash and recycle schedules, job openings. Go ahead, ask me something.