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Report: Tourism in Virginia outpacing national growth rate

(PHOTO: File / WCYB)

One of Virginia's largest industries had a banner year in 2016, according to a new report released Monday by state tourism officials.

Visitors to the Commonwealth helped tourism revenue reach $24 billion- a 3.3 percent increase over 2015 numbers and a larger climb than the U.S. growth rate of 2.7 percent, the report said.

"Virginia's natural beauty, booming culinary scene, exciting outdoor recreation offerings, rich history, and robust arts culture make the Commonwealth a place that residents are proud to call home. But these things also make Virginia an attractive travel destination where visitors can discover why Virginia is for Lovers," Gov. Terry McAuliffe said in a statement accompanying the data. Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

Other information released in Monday's report:

More than 45 million tourists came to Virginia last year. Visitor spending supported 230,000 jobs, an increase of more than 6,100 jobs in 2015 Domestic travelers spent nearly $65 million per day in the state. Virginia's travel industry earned $5.7 billion in payroll income. The largest increase in travel expenditures- food and lodging sectors with $630 million.

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