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Va. Beach heavily relies on tourism: city increased ad spending

Advertisements spent by the city of Virginia Beach has doubled to increase tourists attraction to the area.

Credit: 13News Now
The Virginia Beach Boardwalk

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Money spent on advertisements by the city of Virginia Beach has doubled to increase tourists' attraction to the area.

Hotels have been proving the money is well spent.

In the past three years, overall hotel room reservations have been steadily increasing.

According to our partners at The Virginian-Pilot, a higher percent of hotel rooms was booked in 2016 than in nearby tourist spots like Myrtle Beach, costal Carolina, Ocean City, Maryland, and Williamsburg.

The hotel industry is still trying to recover from the Great Recession almost a decade ago.

In 2015 Virginia Beach's tourism revenue reached $1.4 billion, which is a 2.4 percent increase from 2014. It is estimated that 6.4 million overnight visitors make their way to Virginia Beach every year.

According to The Virginia Beach Convention and Visitor Center, tourism and hospitality is one of Va. Beach's largest industries.

The tourism advertising program was established by the city to foster and stimulate growth of tourism. This program is funded by 1 percent of the hotel tax, one-half cent of the restaurant tax, and a one dollar flat tax per room per night.

"Having a strong tourism industry is vital to job creation and economic growth in Virginia," said Governor Terry McAuliffe. "Travelers are coming to Virginia from across the country and the globe to experience our world-class restaurants, wineries, craft breweries, music festivals, oyster farms, beaches, mountains, and more."

Most advertisements for Oceanfront target people who live in big cities like New York and Philadelphia.

A spokeswoman for the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau told The Virginian-Pilot that in the past fiscal year, the city set aside $6.4 million to spend on advertisements in new cities.

In 2015, roughly 13.9 million people total came to Virginia Beach with 75.3 percent being repeat visitors.

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