AP News

Va. sets tourism revenue record in 2012

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia is celebrating a new record high for tourism across the state.

Gov. Bob McDonnell says tourism revenue rose to $21.2 billion in 2012. That's a 4 percent increase over the previous year

McDonnell announced the tourism figures Wednesday at a news conference at Brown's Island in Richmond.

The tourism industry also supported 210,000 jobs and provided more than $1.36 billion in state and local taxes in 2012. Every locality in Virginia reported tourism increases last year.

Officials say tourism funding over the past three years has increased by more than $5 million per year and has yielded a 5-to-1 return on investment.

Tourism officials touted Virginia's varied landscapes and historic sites, as well as the film and wine industry as drivers for growth over the past few years.

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