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Increasing consumer confidence, an improving economy and new marketing strategies in Greater Williamsburg may have contributed to a 3 percent rise in tourism revenue in 2014, said Karen Riordan, president and CEO of the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance.
The U.S. Travel Association reports tourism revenue for Greater Williamsburg, which includes James City County, York County and City of Williamsburg, reached $1,150,963,752 in 2014. This is about $33.5 million more than in 2013, when revenue totaled $1,117,447,734.
Tourism revenue in Greater Williamsburg has steadily increased since 2009, when revenues dropped from about $1.02 billion in 2008 to about $938 million.
In 2014 there were 11,341 people employed in Greater Williamsburg tourism, 114 more people than in 2013, according to the travel association. Local tourism-related taxes totaled $41,576,840, which is nearly $475,000 more than in 2013.
The data is based on spending from visitors who live in the U.S. and traveled 50 miles or more from home to visit Greater Williamsburg.
Riordan said the Alliance is encouraged by the “modest growth” in 2014. New marketing strategies employed by the Alliance in fiscal year 2014 include launching the “Freedom” Williamsburg destination branding, creating a new visitor guide and rack brochure and starting a new marketing campaign for Christmas in Williamsburg.
“We really believe that the new campaign, PR and other aspects of the marketing approach will bear fruit more meaningfully in the full year 2015 numbers, when we see those next September,” Riordan wrote in an email to WYDaily.