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Mount Airy tourism is booming: Take a trip to Mayberry!

Jessica Roberts with the Mount Airy Tourism Development says it is unprecedented.

MOUNT AIRY, N.C. — The numbers speak for themselves. An increase in Mount Airy and Surry County visitors shows a 45% increase from just two years ago.

The data comes from an economic annual study compiled by Visit North Carolina and for those involved, it is the culmination of a lot of hard work.

“These latest numbers released from Visit North Carolina demonstrate the importance of tourism as a strong economic driver and contributor to the local economy by providing jobs, tax revenue & receipts to Surry County," said Executive Director of the Mount Airy Tourism Development Partnership Jessica Roberts. 

Roberts said the goal is to bring in more visitors every year, as well as repeat visitors. She said it's critical for the local economy. 

"The industry brings in those necessary outside dollars to be spent in Surry County and also creates tourism tax relief saving each household in North Carolina $580 on average in state and local taxes as a direct result of visitor spending in the state and savings per capita averaged $222," Roberts said. 

In the last few years, Mount Airy and Surry County have seen more bookings on sites like AirBnB and VRBO, with visitors coming to see sites like Vineyards in the Yadkin Valley, the Andy Griffith Mural project, and other Mayberry Attractions. 

"During the pandemic, we have also seen various renovations at local establishments throughout the County and additional wineries opening with more to open in the future," Roberts said. 

Roberts said these tourism numbers show that Mount Airy not only has the Mayberry hook to draw people in, but they also have developed other facets of the small town to make it a destination in general.

Here's a look at some aspects of the study.

 Tourism impact highlights for 2021

  • The travel and tourism industry directly employs more than 854 in Surry County, NC.
  • The total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Surry County was $31.7 million.
  • State tax revenue generated in Surry County totaled $6 million through state sales and excise taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income. About $4.4 million in local taxes were generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses.

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