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Tourism generates lots of Valley income

A new report from the Pennsylvania Tourism Office shows the tourism industry in the Commonwealth generated $76.7 billion in economic impact, supported 486,871 jobs, contributed $4.7 billion in state and local taxes, and welcomed 192.4 million visitors in 2022.

The 2022 Economic Impact of Travel and Tourism report provides state, regional, and county level estimates that demonstrate the importance of the travel industry to Pennsylvania’s economy.

The report shows visitor spending in the following local counties: Lehigh, $1.36 billion; Northampton, $1.1 billion; Schuylkill, $257 million; Carbon, $564 million, and Monroe, $2.83 billion. The results were highlighted recently by Department of Community and Economic Development Deputy Secretary of Tourism Carrie Fischer Lepore.

Key 2022 results of the report include:

•1 92.4 million visitors, an increase of more than 12 million from 2021.

• $76.7 billion in total economic impact.

• $4.7 billion in state and local taxes.

• 486,871 jobs supported, which equates to 1-in-16 jobs in the state.

• A $7.5 billion increase in direct visitor spending to reach $45.4 billion – including hotels, restaurants, retailers and other tourism related businesses.

“This report clearly shows that tourism is a significant economic driver in Pennsylvania that injects billions of dollars into our economy and helps to fund transportation, infrastructure, education, public safety programs and other vital services provided by the Commonwealth,” Fischer Lepore said. “Each household in Pennsylvania would need to pay an additional $880 in taxes to replace the tax dollars generated by the tourism industry which were received by state and local governments in 2022. The Shapiro Administration realizes the crucial role that tourism plays in Pennsylvania’s economy, as evidenced by the proposed $15 million increase in funding in the 2024-25 budget proposal.”

Visitor spending - which supports jobs, income, and business sales - generated $9.6 billion in government revenues. State and local taxes alone tallied $4.65 billion in 2022, an increase of $458 million from 2021.

Overnight visitor spending increased by $4.8 billion, with more than 66 million trips resulting in $28 billion in spending. Overnight visitors spent $419 per person, a $31 increase from 2021; while spending on day trips grew to $17.3 billion.

The Economic Impact of Travel and Tourism report is compiled at the Pennsylvania Tourism Office at DCED with information provide by Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Company based in Wayne, with data supplied by Longwoods International and STR.

Shapiro’s 2024-25 budget calls for a $15 million increase in funding for tourism.