We identified Asheville and Virginia Beach as similar markets. These are both competitive markets for Williamsburg and we compete for the same audience or visitor.
In Asheville’s case, we find that in the early 2000s the community, led by the hospitality industry, worked to create the Tourism Product Development Fund (TPDF). Funded using similar revenue streams this program has funded 31 projects with $27 million since 2001. It is credited as helping create Asheville which today welcomes record visitors and boasts a wealth of attractions. For more on Asheville’s program here is a video that describes tourism’s impact on their community.
Virginia Beach tells a similar story. Virginia Beach utilizes two programs aimed at boosting tourism. The Tourism Investment Program (TIP) is a discretionary funding tool utilized to jumpstart major projects in its market. Projects and events like the Rock’n’Roll Marathon and Beach Street USA benefit from the program.
While this is not conclusive data-driven proof of success, it is indicative of the efforts that create a successful tourism community.