FROM: Martha Burton, Director of Tourism
DATE: For release on or after September 6, 2012
Dramatic Increase in Tourism Expenditures in
The Best PART of Virginia
Yesterday, Governor McDonnell released the economic impact that tourism had on the Commonwealth during 2011, utilizing data released by the United States Travel Association (USTA). He reported that tourism expenditures in the Commonwealth in 2011 increased by 8% over expenditures in 2010.
In The Best PART of Virginia, which encompasses Chesterfield, Dinwiddie and Prince George Counties and the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell and Petersburg, visitors spent $316.34 million in 2011, an increase of 9.3% over the $289.38 million spent in 2010. Each of the six PART localities saw increases in expenditures ranging from 5.8% to 10.6%. The USTA data is based on domestic visitor spending (travelers from within the United States) from per person trips taken 50 miles or more away from home.
These expenditures in 2011, which include meals, lodging, public transportation, auto transportation, shopping, admissions and entertainment, generated $7.8 million in local tax revenues for the six local governments. At the same time, these expenditures also generated $13.4 million in tax revenue for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Rick Young, President of the Petersburg Area Regional Tourism Board of Directors, said “the PART Board is thrilled to see that larger numbers of visitors are coming to the area and gratified to see that PART is helping to grow the regional economy through our marketing efforts. We know that the numbers of visits to the PART website continue to grow and we are contacted daily by people who live throughout the country who request information about this area, but it is especially exciting when the numbers come out and they confirm PART’s message – there is much to see, to do, to learn and to enjoy in The Best PART of Virginia”.
In November, PART will unveil its new tour, Walk in Lincoln’s Final Footsteps, which will enable visitors to experience the history associated with President Lincoln’s visit to this area during two of the final three weeks of his life. This initiative is being developed to coincide with the release of Steven Spielberg’s movie, Lincoln, which is scheduled for
November 9. The movie will also focus a spotlight on Petersburg’s Old Towne, which is where parts of the movie were filmed.
The Walk in Lincoln’s Final Footsteps tour will lead the region into the commemoration of the final major battles of the Civil War, including the Siege of Petersburg and the Battle of Five Forks in 2014-2015. Plans are underway for events associated with the Sesquicentennial of these battles in the area. Visitors who have an interest in the Civil War will be coming here during the Sesquicentennial and we will be ready to welcome them. After all, in The Best PART of Virginia we’ve been making history and welcoming visitors for over 400 years!