Tourism in Rowan County surging

Out-of-towners spent more money in Rowan County last year than ever before, state tourism officials told the Salisbury Post.

In 2010, visitors spent nearly $124.6 million in the county, more than $6 million than the year before, according to the N.C. Department of Commerce, Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development.

All that business generated $4.12 million in taxes for Rowan governments and $7.19 million in state taxes. Overall, money spent by tourists in the state jumped 9 percent to just over $17 billion in 2010, after dropping 7.4 percent to $15.6 billion the year before.

In 2009, the Rowan County and Salisbury tourism authorities decided to pool their marketing efforts and create the Joint Tourism Marketing Committee. Rowan County was one of six N.C. counties where tourism expenditures grew in 2009. Last year, 98 N.C. counties saw an increase.

"It's proof positive that investment in more marketing and development for travel and tourism -- when economic conditions are right -- will pay off," said James Meacham, executive director of the Rowan County Tourism Development Authority.

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