RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A report released Thursday shows Wake County’s tourism industry is bouncing back from the pandemic-affected year of 2021.

The report, released by Visit Raleigh, says Wake County hotel occupancy outpaced state and national averages for the first quarter of 2022.

Hotel occupancy tax collections reached $6 million through March, which is up 81 percent year-to-date over 2021.

“The first quarter of 2022 demonstrates a strong demand in Wake County’s travel economy this year,” said Dennis Edwards, president and CEO of Visit Raleigh. “Hotels are capitalizing on the return of both leisure and business travel to yield higher rates and revenues for their rooms, approaching closer to pre-pandemic levels, which is necessary for our area’s economic recovery.”

Visit Raleigh’s report also says 63 conventions, sporting events, and groups were hosted in the first quarter which brought nearly 74,000 attendees to Raleigh.

One of the largest events was the Triangle Volleyball Club City of Oaks Challenge – which had 10,000 attendees.

Looking ahead, the report says Visit Raleigh and the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance have booked 87 events for future dates.

QuiltCon, which says it is the world’s largest modern quilting event of the year, will come to Raleigh in Feb. 2024, bringing with it 8,000 attendees.

Those events are estimated to use 34,514 room-nights and generate a projected $19.7 million in economic impact.