11/24/10 — Duplin occupancy tax collections up

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Duplin occupancy tax collections up

By From staff reports
Published in News on November 24, 2010 1:46 PM

KENANSVILLE -- Duplin County occupancy tax collections for the first quarter of the 2010-11 fiscal year are up more than 14 percent from the first quarter last year, according to Duplin County Tourism.

Duplin County's occupancy tax collections are well over those collected in similar eastern North Carolina counties this quarter. The region saw an average increase of about 10 percent.

The overall budget developed for the 2010-11 fiscal year was decreased by 7 percent over last year to adjust for the anticipated decrease in state-wide travel due to the current economic conditions.

"There was a sense of cautious optimism among those in the tourism sector in preparing for this fiscal year," said Kristina Ayres, Director of Tourism for Duplin County. "There were small signs that travel was beginning to pick back up but everyone was careful in setting their budgets. We are happy to report, however, that the numbers are in and the percentages are up."

According to a report created by the U.S. Travel Association, domestic tourism in Duplin County generated an economic impact of $31.71 million dollars in 2009. More than 200 jobs in Duplin County were supported through travel and tourism, while the county's entire tourism industry generated a payroll of $3.86 million for its residents in 2009.

State and local tax revenues from travel to Duplin County amounted to $2.91 million in 2009. Tax revenues generated by visitors to Duplin County actually save residents money by generating tax dollars that can be used for education, water and other necessities.

If these tax revenues were not generated by visitors, then local taxpayers would incur more of the total cost for the same services, Mrs. Ayres said.