Photo: Gene Marrano/WFIR

Visitor spending in the Roanoke region reached a new high in 2022, exceeding levels reached before the pandemic brought so much to a halt. Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge coordinates efforts to bring visitors to the region. It all took a big hit, of course, when COVID arrived in 2020, but the travel-related expenditures for last year are in, and they are the most ever, topping $872 million in direct spending — for conventions, hotels, restaurants, retail, outdoor recreation and much more. More from WFIR’s Evan Jones:

The future appears promising — VBR reports close to two million unique visitors to its website last year — also a new record.