Dominant industry sectors in Page County include Tourism and Agriculture. In 2017, according to Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC), the direct spending by domestic travelers including food, accommodations, auto transportation, public transportation, incidental purchases, entertainment/recreation and travel generated tax receipts to Page County totaling $69,302,548. Five out of the 25 most popular visited attractions in Virginia are located in Page County: Shenandoah Valley, Shenandoah National Park, Appalachian Trail, Skyline Drive, and Luray Caverns.
Those visiting the Shenandoah Valley area are mostly driving to visit friends and relatives during the months of May, June, September, and October.
Other demographic information includes:
Total Travel Party Size: 2 (couples) and 4 (small families)
Age of Travel Party: 25-34, Young Couples, Millennials (ages 18-34), Generation X (ages 35-50)
Income Earning: over $100,000/year, college educated
Number of Nights Lodging: usually not staying the night but if staying - 2 nights
Types of Lodging: hotel, private home
Travel Party Spending: $100-$500 (food, gas)
Visiting: Historical Sites, Recreation Areas, and Wildlife Viewing
Interested Activities: outdoor recreation and site seeing
Attractions visited: State Parks, National Parks, Monuments and Recreational Areas
Other activities: Dining and Shopping
Visiting from: Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland, New York
Trip Planning Sources: word of mouth recommendations, search engines, destination websites and social media
Agriculture and Agritourism in Page County
According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, 545 farms (average size 131 acres) are located in Page County. They generated over $141 million in combined crop and livestock sales (a decline of 5% since 2007). Average net farm income is $45,258. In general, local farmers are diversifying their business plan and bringing more attention to the industry by adding tourism to the farming mix. Agritourism today looks like farm-to-table sourcing with an educational component. Many farms in the area are also increasing their revenue portfolio by transitioning outbuildings, farm homes, barns and land into event venues. Rustic farm weddings, festivals and events are “on trend” and seem to be growing in popularity.
According to Weldon Cooper 2017 “The Economic Impact of Virginia’s Agriculture and Forest Industries” - Virginia generated approximately $23 billion in travel expenditures from visitors in 2015, up from $20 billion in 2011 (Virginia Tourism Corporation 2016). Survey results suggest that a significant number of leisure visitors are attracted by the state’s rural amenities and participate in rural outdoors recreation and leisure activities. Fourteen percent of leisure visitors cited rural sightseeing among their reasons for visiting. Agritourism is defined in the state code as an activity on a farm or a ranch that allows the public to attend.
Weldon Cooper also noted that the largest clusters of agricultural-related industry employment impact in Virginia were located in the Shenandoah Valley, Northern Virginia, and Central Virginia. Results drawn from other recent studies indicate that Virginia agritourism and forest recreation are important components of the state’s tourism spending and economic impact, accounting for millions of visitors and billions of dollars of tourism-related spending and economic impact each year.
Agritourists deliver a significant boost to the state’s tourism industry. A new study (Magnini 2017) estimates that Virginia agritourists accounted for over $1.3 billion on off-farm tourism-related expenditures such as hotels, restaurants, entertainment, fuel, and other incidentals.
Other popular agritourism and forest recreation venues include national parks (8 percent), state parks (7 percent), wildlife viewing (5 percent), gardens (4 percent) and wine tasting/winery tour (3 percent). Visitors may conduct multi-purpose and multi-venue visits.
produced by Virginia Employment Commission | 703 East Main Street • Richmond, Virginia 23219 Tel: (804) 786-8223 • www.VirginiaLMI.com« Last updated: 7/24/2018 2:19:09 A