UPDATED July 1, 2020:


Tourism Development Fund (TDF)

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The FY21 Phase I application for the Tourism Development Fund (TDF) grant is now closed.  Read more about the first cycle of the TDF here

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, 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, and improved experiences. Any project that can be shown to increase patronage to restaurants, attractions, hotels and events can qualify and be considered.

The first round of grants were approved by City Council in November 2019. The FY21 cycle will begin in February 2020. If you have any questions about the grant process, please contact Joanna Skrabala, Tourism Development Specialist, at
(757) 220-6129.

To learn more about the Tourism Development Fund, please use the menu bar on the left. 




  • Why do we need a Tourism Development Fund (TDF)?
  • What types of projects could be funded by the TDF?
  • How much would taxes increase if the TDF is approved?
  • Why can’t the City fund the TDF using existing revenues?
  • How did City Council decide on a Tourism Development Fund?
  • How does the TDF differ from the City’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)?
  • Where has a TDF been successful in a similar market to ours?
More FAQs

Here are some examples of projects in other localities using similar funding:

TDF Gatlinburg TN Parking Garage
TDF Asheville NC Soccer Complex
TDF Charleston SC Galliard Center
TDF Loudon County VA Waterford Fair
TDF Asheville NC Riverfront Destination
TDF Gatlinburg TN Winterfest
TDF Virginia Beach Marathon
TDF Gatlinburg TN Community Center
TDF Myrtle Beach SC Music Fest
TDF Asheville SC Arena

Public Engagement:

Citizens are encouraged to share their questions, comments and concerns with City Council. You do not have to be present to comment on City Council meeting agenda items. Simply go to the City's emeetings page, find the meeting you are interested in, and beside the link for the meeting agenda, click on "eComment" and leave your comment there. 

Previous TDF discussion meetings:

City Council – November 14, 2019
Approval of grants 

City Council Work Session – November 12, 2019
Preview of TDGRC grants 

Tourism Development Grant Review Committee – September 27, 2019

Tourism Development Grant Review Committee – August 23, 2019

Tourism Development Grant Review Committee – July 26, 2019

Tourism Development Grant Review Committee – June 26, 2019