NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Governor Terry McAuliffe headlined a statewide tourism conference on Tuesday morning. He spoke to 500 members of the travel and tourism industry and discussed the impact of tourism on the state's economy.
"Twenty-four billion dollars last year of income employs 230,000 folks in the Commonwealth of Virginia, [and] generates $1.7 billion in state and local taxes," McAuliffe said.
He's coming off the heels of a European trip where he in part, promoted Virginia. With the countdown until he leaves office in motion, the governor wants to make sure tourism in the Commonwealth continues to grow.
"We have it all here. We've got the mountains, we've got the beach, we've got the historic sites, over 300 wineries, 225 craft breweries," he said. His office announced it's creating two tours targeting German travelers.
Rita McClenny, the CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation, joined the governor on his European trip. "Sixty-eight percent of Germans who travel to Virginia travel for leisure purposes and they want to get out into the countryside. They want to have a small town experience," said McClenny.
At the summit, McAuliffe was also awarded for his LGBT tourism task force and his leadership with the craft beer industry.