Despite HB2, Wake sees record-breaking visitors, tourism growth

The fear mongering and myths built around stopping HB2 (the bathroom bill) continue to fall apart as reality and the facts come in. Many feared that after the passage of HB2 that tourism would plummet in North Carolina. As it turns out, the opposite has occurred. In fact, Wake county has seen an over 4% growth in tourism since the passage of the bill.

While the media continues to attempt driving a narrative that the bill has been bad for North Carolina's economy, it would seem that reality is on our side. 

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Wake County welcomed an all-time high number of 15.6 million visitors last year, according to the Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The 15.6 million visitors who traveled to Wake County in 2016 spent $2.4 billion, officials said, which is an increase of 4.2 percent from 2015.

The number is the highest the GRCVB has ever reported, despite House Bill 2, a state law that required people to use public bathrooms that match their birth gender and excluded gay and transgender people from discrimination protections.

Numerous concerts and conventions were canceled in the Raleigh area following the March 2016 passage of the controversial law. State lawmakers repealed the law this spring.

"Despite growing competition in the marketplace, Raleigh and Wake County continue to rise as a destination of choice amongst visitors,” said Denny Edwards, president and CEO of the GRCVB. “Every sector of the hospitality community from our hotels and restaurants, attractions and retail stores benefit from the influx of outside money being spent in our area by visitors annually.”

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