The Mitchell County Chamber spotlights Travel’s Economic and Cultural Benefits during National Travel and Tourism Week

We pass popular tourist sites like our gem mines every day; we may not even think of how they support our community. But our gem mines and other attractions like Roan Mountain, the Orchard at Altapass,  Penland School of Crafts and our favorite spots in Spruce Pine, Bakersville and Little Switzerland are part of  the tourism backbone Mitchell County. These places define our community, provide our families with jobs and have given us  and thousands of visitors — a lifetime of memories.

Travel matters, and it improves Mitchell County in ways that have a wide-reaching impact on our local residents. Travel supports over 200 jobs in Mitchell County and it also has an impact that we do not always see: travel can strengthen families, foster hometown pride, and build bridges that connect us with one another.

Travel is powerful for cities and states, and Mitchell County is no exception.  Travelers to Mitchell County spent over $24 million in 2017 (the last recorded data) and generated over $1 million in local tax revenue. Travel and Tourism jobs in our county totaled nearly $4 million in payroll. Because of travelers to Mitchell County and the dollars that they spent in our county, our local citizens saved $139.30 per person in taxes. Travel expenditures in Mitchell County increased almost 5% over the previous year and represented the largest year over year increase than any of our surrounding counties including Yancey, McDowell, Avery, Watauga and Burke.

Think back to your first job. Maybe you worked in a local restaurant or a local attraction, or maybe your kids work there now. For many, one third of Americans to be exact, travel is the front door to a promising career.  Think about how travel matters to the owners and families that operate our local tourism related businesses; travel dependent leisure and hospitality is the largest small business employer in the US.

Those are only a few reasons why it’s so important to keep welcoming visitors to Mitchell County, and why our industry is elevating the message of “Travel Matters” during National Travel and Tourism Week. We encourage you to join us in observing National Travel and Tourism Week and celebrate all that travel does for Mitchell County.

One of the ways you can join in the celebration is to Get Social and engage on social media with your favorite local travel spots…places that you want your family and friends to experience when they visit with you.  Visit our Facebook and Instagram pages and @ExploreMitchell. Follow us on these channels as well as our Mitchell County Chamber Facebook page as we highlight our local travel and tourism industry during National Tourism Week.