Eastern Shore tourism spending down slightly in 2022, still up big over last five years

September 28, 2023

The Eastern Shore’s tourism spending fell slightly in 2022 according to a report from Virginia Tourism. According to the report, the Eastern Shore expenditures declined by 2% from 2021 to 2022, however the Eastern Shore’s visitor spending grew 27% over the 2019 levels, highest compared to any other Virginia regions.

“While slightly down for 2022, it is still an incredible increase from 2019,” said Laura Messer, Destination Development Manager with Virginia Tourism.

Tourism spending in 2022 in Accomack County totaled $166,000,000 according to Virginia Tourism, down slightly by 1.3% from 2021. It was similar in Northampton from 2021, with a slight decrease(3.3%) at $66,000,000.

For Accomack, all categories of spending, including food & beverage, recreation, retail and transportation increased, while lodging expenditures fell by 10%. Northampton showed a similar picture, with all of the same categories increasing except retail, which fell by .3%. Lodging was also down for the lower Shore County by 14.4%.

According to the report, 14.5% of Accomack’s workforce is in tourism related jobs, and $10.5 million was generated in tax receipts. Visitors to Northampton fueled 12.7% of the County’s entire workforce and added $4.5 million in tax money.

The Eastern Shore was the fastest growing tourism market in Virginia in 2019, and the market has continued to grow since then, with Accomack County increasing from $134 million in 2019 to $166 million today. Northampton County’s tourism market was $48.5 million in 2019.

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