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The Southwest Virginia region generated more than $971 million in travel expenditures in 2014 according to data announced at the 2015 Southwest Virginia Creative Economy Conference in Abingdon, Va., the Roanoke Star reported.

The Virginia Tourism Corporation’s 2014 Economic Impact Report showed southwest Virginia has seen a 50% increase in total travel expenditures for the region since 2004.

In 2014, more than $43.6 million in local meals and lodging tax revenue was generated from the travel expenditures to the region. More than 9,750 jobs exist in Southwest Virginia due to tourism, increasing by 560 jobs since 2004, the paper noted.

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