The City of Williamsburg is kicking off a new development program which will increase visitation to the Greater Williamsburg region. This program is called the Tourism Development Fund or TDF. The TDF was adopted in 2017 with one intent:
The purpose of the Tourism Development Fund (TDF) is to increase patronage to restaurants, attractions, hotels, and events in the City of Williamsburg through financial assistance and reinvestment in tourism products, place-making projects, special events and public-private partnerships.
The City is looking for partners to help increase tourism. The reason is simple. People agree that the City has to bolster tourism in order to continue offering the world class services and quality of life to which residents and visitors have grown accustomed. To do this, the City has to provide a business-friendly environment, be progressive in thinking about new concepts, and reduce the costs of investment.
The TDF is all three of these rolled into one program. Just by establishing and promoting the availability of a TDF and the partnership it represents, the City is advertising a business-friendly environment. The TDF is not a new concept and is used in many tourism destinations, but it is new to Williamsburg and that sends the message that the City is aggressive in addressing the need for tourism. Lastly, the TDF is a grant program intended to help reduce the costs of investment.
The TDF is funded through a portion of a 1% sales tax increase set by Virginia Senate Bill 942 (2018). These funds are made available for grants based on an application/review process and recommendation by a review committee and final approval by City Council. Projects can be new development, expansion of existing projects, public facilities, improved experiences, and/or increased marketing. Any project that can be shown to increase patronage to restaurants, attractions, hotels and events can qualify and be considered.
The first round of grant consideration began in April 2019. If you have any questions about the grant process, please contact Joanna Skrabala, Tourism Development Specialist, at
To learn more about the Tourism Development Fund, please use the menu bar on the left.