Top down view of buildings in downtown Raleigh, NC.

By The Numbers: COVID-19’s Impact on Raleigh Tourism

In Buzz, December 2020 / January 2021, Web Exclusive by Lauren KruchtenLeave a Comment

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WEB EXCLUSIVE It’s no secret that Raleigh’s economy has taken a beating from the coronavirus pandemic. Government-mandated shutdowns have caused many locally owned businesses to shut down temporarily—or even forever, layoffs are discouraging locals from going out and spending their money and regulations such as banned large gatherings have caused several annual Raleigh events that serve as a large source of city revenue to be cancelled. Below, we break down a recent report from Visit Raleigh predicting just how badly the pandemic will affect Wake County’s restaurants and tourism industry this year.

$145 million

Total revenue losses of Wake County businesses due to cancelled events (5% of the total spent by tourists in a typical year)


Total number of canceled meetings, conventions and sports events this year


Number of tourists lost from cancelled events alone


Percent decrease of sales tax collections from Wake County restaurants (down $6 million from 2019)


Percent decrease in Wake County hotel lodging tax collections (down $11.9 million from last year


Percent decrease in hotel occupancy from September 2019 to September 2020


Average daily hotel rate in September (down 29.7 percent from last year)


Number of events out of 299 cancelled events that have been rescheduled

$30.1 million

Revenue Visit Raleigh expects to bring back into Wake County’s economy with various projects

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