RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina’s tourism numbers are booming. Visit NC released their 2022 tourism numbers this week which shows travelers spent more than $33 billion on trips to the state. That tops the previous spending record of $29.2 billion set in 2019.

“Last year was a record year for tourism across the state of North Carolina. We saw a record 40 million visitors come into the state,” said Scott Peacock with Visit NC.

He credits the ease of pandemic restrictions as a big reason why travel to the state increased, not to mention, in 2022 we saw more people traveling internationally. 

“International visitation was up 170% over 2021 and we expect that number to grow even more significantly this year,” said Peacock.

With big events like this year’s Dreamville Festival, the NHL playoffs and even the upcoming Wrexham v. Chelsea game, Visit NC predicts large numbers for 2023 as well.

“I think 2023 is going to be another record year,” said Peacock. “From what we’re hearing across the state, whether it’s from the mountains to the coast, to the piedmont region, everyone is predicting and projecting an increase in visitation this year over last year.”

Along with an increase in tourism comes and increase in jobs.

The state’s tourism supported workforce increased by about 217,000 jobs in 2022.