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State tourism numbers post new records


Visitor spending in North Carolina set a new record last year. A press release from the Governor’s Office reports record visitor spending during 2018 of $25.3 billion. That’s a 5.6 percent increase from 2017’s total. Those visits generated about $3.9 billion in federal, state and local taxes, up 4.8 percent from the prior year. About $1.3 billion of that was state taxes. The state hosted over 51 million visitors last year. Tourism industry-supported employment also set a record last year, increasing 2.2 percent to 230,560 jobs. Payroll income for those workers was up as well, rising 5.3 percent to $6.3 billion. The figures are from research commissioned by Visit North Carolina and conducted by the U-S Travel Association.

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.