By Victor Jacobs

An estimated $476.6 million was spent by visitors to Irvine in 2010, according to the first-ever Visitor Impact report from Destination Irvine, a nonprofit created by the city to promote the locale as a top location for vacationers and business gatherings.

Conducted by Dean Runyan Associates, the report, which was released on Wednesday, categorized total visitor spending as follows:

Food & Beverage Services: $133.4 million - 28 percent
Accommodations: $108.2 million - 23 percent
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation: $105.2 million - 22 percent
Retail: $90.9 million - 19 percent
Transportation: $38.9 million - 8 percent
Total spending: $476.6 million - 100 percent

"The tourism industry is a vital source of funding for the city of Irvine, generating revenue that contributes to maintaining a balanced budget and high community standards," said Wendy Haase, Destination Irvine's director of tourism marketing. "The objective of this report is to document the value of tourism to the local economy; it is estimated that without visitor spending, resident households in Irvine would each pay $345 more a year in state and local taxes."

In addition to bringing in nearly half a billion dollars last year, Irvine's tourism industry supported more than 5,000 full-time, or full-time-equivalent, jobs, according to the report. These jobs added another $165.3 million in wages and contributed $26.9 million in local and state taxes.

Dean Runyan Associates also conducts the California Travel Impacts by County reports for the California Travel and Tourism Commission.