The economic impact of tourism in Prince William County, Manassa sand Manassas Park is on the rise. Visitors to the county generated $487 million in revenue in 2011, up almost 10 percent from 2010. In the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, visitors generated a combined $61 million, up 11 percent from 2010, according to a study recently published by the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
Tourism plays a crucial role in our local economy; it provides jobs, brings in revenue to local businesses and helps offset the local tax base. According to research by the Virginia Tourism Corporation, for every dollar a community invests in tourism marketing activities, the return is $5 in local economic impact.
Discover Prince William & Manassas is the convention and visitors bureau marketing the area to leisure travelers, group tour operators, meeting/reunion planners and travel writers. The agency, a 501 c6 not-for -profit, has a fiscal 2013 budget of $1.2 million and is primarily funded through a portion of the $5 million Prince William County collects annually from the Transient Occupancy Tax- a tax imposed on guests who stay overnight in the county’s nearly 4,000 hotel rooms. The City of Manassas contributes $87,000 to the current budget.
Local attractions, events, historic sites, hotels, restaurants and stores who align with the agency’s mission, strategy and marketing plan, can reap the benefits of packaging opportunities as well as stretch advertising and marketing dollars. Tourism-related businesses are encouraged to send them any special events, discounts, package deals or news for promotion through Discover’s social media, website and newsletters. The organization also provides industry leads to businesses and will soon be launching a new website where their partners will have access to update listings, events and other information.
Another way to capitalize on tourism is to have staff become Certified Tourism Ambassadors. The Journey Through Hallowed Ground program trains tourism professionals in customer service and in the history of attractions along the Journey- a national scenic byway, which includes the Prince William area.
Visit www.discoverpwm.com or call 703-396-7130 to learn more on how you can plug into tourism in greater Prince William. With our rich history and unique attractions, we will continue to grow into a top visitor destination for years to come.
Submitted by Discover Prince William & Manasss.