The Club welcomed Bob Harris from the Tourism division of the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance. Bob shared some statistics on vacations - for instance, in many European countries, taking a two-weed vacation is considered mandatory. In the Williamsburg area, tourism employs 11,000 people serving visitors who spend over $1.1 billion in our economy. Not only that, tourism leads to $41 million in local taxes that visitors are paying, instead of residents. Bob shares that Williamsburg has seen a loss of hotel rooms, from over 11,000 to 8,610 currently, but that has been made up for by a robust time share market of 6500 units.
Bob said that we cannot rely on one organization, Colonial Williamsburg, to entice visitors. Moms are making vacation decisions, and history is no longer the driver. So the Tourism Alliance is focused on other events that will bring vacationers. For example, there will be a culinary event and something called a Fireball Run, which is a scavenger hunt, at least in part.
Finally, he said the Chamber supports the widening of Interstate 64 and encouraged everyone to go to www.visitwilliamsburg.com for more information on what's happening in our community.
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