HARRISBURG, PA — A new report by the Pennsylvania Tourism Office shows the tourism industry in the Commonwealth generated $66.3 billion in economic impact, supported 452,885 jobs, contributed $4.2 billion in state and local taxes, and welcomed 180 million visitors in 2021. The 2021 Economic Impact of Travel and Tourism report, released in tandem with National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), provides state, regional, and county-level estimates that demonstrate the vital importance of the travel industry to Pennsylvania’s economy. The report, which contains the most recently available data, shows visitor activity in Pennsylvania increased significantly in 2021. This is attributed to businesses and venues reopening and traveler confidence rising.
Key 2021 results include:
- 180 million visitors, an increase of more than 28 million from 2020
- $66.3 billion in total economic impact
- $4.2 billion in state and local taxes
- 452,885 jobs supported, which equates to 1-in-17 jobs in the state
- A $9.1 billion increase in direct visitor spending to reach $38 billion – including hotels, restaurants, retailers and other tourism-related businesses.
“Tourism is a significant economic driver in Pennsylvania that injects billions into our economy and helps to fund transportation, infrastructure, education, public safety programs and other vital services provided by the Commonwealth,” said Carrie Fischer Lepore, Department of Community and Economic Development Deputy Secretary of Marketing, Tourism & Film. “Each household in Pennsylvania would need to pay an additional $802 in taxes to replace the tax dollars generated by the tourism industry which were received by state and local governments in 2021. We know that these numbers will continue to grow as consumer trends show, yet again, significant enthusiasm for travel to Pennsylvania.”
According to the latest Longwoods International tracking study of American travelers, 93 percent have trips planned in the next six month – the highest level in three years.
Visitor spending — which supports jobs, income, and business sales — generated $8.8 billion in government revenues. State and local taxes alone tallied $4.2 billion in 2021, an increase of $614 million from 2020.
Overnight visitor spending growth has contributed the most to the economic recovery, increasing by $7.5 billion – 82 percent of the overall spending gain – in 2021, with more than 60 million trips resulted in $23.2 billion in spending. Overnight visitors spent $388 per person, a $27 increase from 2020; while spending on day trips grew to $14.8 billion.
The Economic Impact of Travel and Tourism report is compiled at the Pennsylvania Tourism Office at DCED with information provided by Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Company based in Wayne, with data supplied by Longwoods International and STR.
Established in 1983, National Travel and Tourism Week is an annual tradition to celebrate the U.S. travel community and travel’s essential role in stimulating economic growth, cultivating vibrant communities, creating quality job opportunities, inspiring new businesses and elevating the quality of life for Americans every day. The theme for the 40th anniversary of NTTW is #TravelForward to spotlight the essential role that travel plays in driving economic growth and innovation.
The Pennsylvania Tourism Office, housed within the Department of Community and Economic Development, is dedicated to inspiring travel to Pennsylvania. From iconic attractions to hidden gems, tourism in Pennsylvania helps support the state’s economy and creates jobs for local businesses — all while improving residents’ quality of life.
For more information about the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit the DCED website.
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