Visitor spending in Clark County up 5.4% in 2019

A recent report conducted by Tourism Economics for the Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA) shows that visitor spending to Clark County in 2019 was more than $554 million — a 5.4% increase from 2018. Visitor spending has continued to increase every year since 2010. Spending by visitors creates $383.8 million in tax savings for the local economy.

The report also showed that tourism supported 4,723 jobs in Clark County. Tourism and hospitality have taken a hard hit early in the evolving COVID-19 crisis, with U.S. Travel reporting employment for leisure and hospitality workers down 47% in April.

In recent years, Clark County’s tourism offerings have expanded impressively. After the American Empress Riverboat adopted Vancouver as a point of embarkation earlier in the century, ilani, the expansive casino and resort, opened in 2017. In 2018, the new Vancouver Waterfront brought new views and businesses to the community. And throughout 2019, new retail shops, wine tasting rooms, and restaurants sprung up throughout the community.

“We are confident that we can continue to build on this growth in the coming years,” said Cliff Myers, president & CEO of Visit Vancouver USA, in a statement.

Note that in 2019 WTA switched vendors from Dean Runyan to Tourism Economics. The two vendors use slightly different methodologies—as such, the Tourism Economics total is more comparable to the direct visitor spending number from the previous report, which was $524.9 million in 2018.For more information on travel’s economic impacts, please visit www.VisitVancouverUSA.com.

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Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.