LEESBURG (November 14, 2019) – The wineries, breweries and farms that span across Loudoun County’s rolling countryside are contributing millions to the local economy, according to a recent study commissioned by Visit Loudoun. In 2018, Loudoun’s agritourism businesses hosted 1.2 million people who generated a total economic impact of $413.6 million, according to an Economic Impact Study conducted by the Institute for Service Research.
About 40 percent of those people traveled from outside the region, injecting new money into the county’s economy, which helps grow the tax base and create jobs. According to the study, agritourism is defined as any activity on a farm that allows members of the public to view or enjoy rural activities including farming, wineries, cultural and harvest-your-own events.
“It is evident by this research that agritourism is a vital piece of Loudoun’s economy and not only puts substantial money back in the economy but also provides unique experiences for visitors and residents alike,”Visit Loudoun President and CEO Beth Erickson
Wineries and farm breweries make up a significant piece of the agritourism economy. An additional survey by the Loudoun Wineries Association, Loudoun County Economic Development and Visit Loudoun found that surveyed wineries and farm breweries hosted nearly 800,000 of those visitors in 2018 and collected an estimated $30.7 million in revenue. In order to elevate Loudoun’s agritourism industry, Visit Loudoun and the county’s Department of Economic Development partnered this year to launch the Take Loudoun Home campaign.
The initiative encourages residents and visitors to buy local and share a piece of Loudoun with their family and friends around the world. The campaign focuses on agricultural goods as well as crafts from local artisans. “Agritourism provides the lifeblood for so many of Loudoun’s iconic rural businesses, while supporting more than 4,000 full-time jobs.
Loudoun’s agricultural economy relies on consumer support, and everyone wins when visitors buy local, artisanal products,” Loudoun’s Economic Development Executive Director Buddy Rizer said. The two organizations will also host another Producer’s Marketplace in January, which connects farmers and other producers to hotels, restaurants and caterers to encourage local sourcing of everything from wine and beer to produce, vegetables and meats. The last Producer’s Marketplace, which took place in early 2019, generated an estimated $182,000 in expected sales.