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State touts record tourism numbers in 2017


It was a record year in terms of tourism for North Carolina in 2017.

A press release from the Governor’s office reports visitor spending last year was $23.9 billion, up 4.2 percent from 2016. The state’s tourism industry also produced record jobs numbers, generating 225,000 jobs in 2017, up 2.6 percent from 2016 with payroll income for those tourism jobs topping $5.9 billion, up 7.1 percent. State Commerce Secretary Anthony Copeland says each state household saves $512 annually in state and local taxes as a result of tax revenue generated by visitor spending. The report was released during Travel and Tourism Week in North Carolina as proclaimed by Gov. Roy Cooper.

George Olsen is a 1977 Havelock High School graduate. He received his B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of South Carolina in 1982 where he got his first taste of non-commercial radio working for their student station WUSC. After graduation he worked about five years in commercial radio before coming to work at Public Radio East where he has remained since outside of a nearly 3-year stint as jazz and operations coordinator at WUAL in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the early 1990s. On his return to eastern North Carolina he hosted classical music for Public Radio East before moving into the Morning Edition host position and now can be heard on All Things Considered. He also hosts and produces The Sound, five hours of Americana, Roots Rock and Contemporary Folk weekday evenings on PRE Public Radio East News & Ideas, and is a news and feature producer for Public Radio East.