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Wednesday, 08 May 2013 01:25

Bring on the tourists

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This week is Travel and Tourism Week in Haywood County.

The Haywood County Board of Commissioners Monday officially dubbed May 4-12 Travel and Tourism Week to recognize the importance of the industry in the county and its positive impact on the local economy.

“Tourism means a whole lot to this county,” said Commissioner Mike Sorrells.

In its proclamation, the Tourism Development Authority detailed just how much tourism benefits the county. The yearly economic impact of the county’s tourism industry was tabulated at $120.4 million.

More tourists means more jobs and also lower taxes for residents. Travel and tourism accounts for more than 1,280 jobs in Haywood County — equaling $22.76 million in payroll. The state and local tax revenue generated from tourism also translates to $192.85 in tax savings on average for each Haywood County resident.

Lynn Collins, executive director of the TDA, said visitors’ reason for staying in Haywood County is apparent — it’s the natural beauty of the mountains.

“All you have to do is look out these windows to see why people want to visit,” Collins said.

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