Nearly 50 million people who visited North Carolina spent a record amount of money in the state last year.

A statement released Wednesday by Gov. Pat McCrory says tourists spent $21.3 billion in 2014. That is a 5.4 percent increase over 2013.

McCrory says tourists helped support more than 204,000 jobs and 40,000 businesses. He says the 3.3 percent growth in tourism jobs is the largest increase in 14 years.

State tax receipts as a result of visitor spending grew 3.9 percent to more than $1 billion.

According to McCrory, North Carolina is the sixth most visited state in the nation.

Photo Credit: A street scene along the Outer Banks in North Carolina. James Willamor / Flickr