- Associated Press - Saturday, August 16, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - State officials say visitor spending increased in 95 of North Carolina’s 100 counties in 2013, with three counties topping $1 billion.

Gov. Pat McCrory and Commerce Secretary Sharon Deck said visitor spending topped $1 billion in Mecklenburg, Wake and Guilford counties.

They say visitors spend a record $20 billion in 2013, an increase of 4 percent from 2012.

The counties with the largest increases in visitor spending were Buncombe, Burke and Carteret, followed by Wilkes, Forsyth, Durham, Brunswick and Rowan.

State officials say visitor spending directly supported and more than 198,000 jobs and generated more than $4 billion in payroll income. Mecklenburg County led the state with 46,500 direct tourism workers and payroll of $1.5 billion.

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