Last updated: 11:30 AM ET, Thu March 26 2015

Colonial Williamsburg Making Changes to Draw More Tourists

Destination & Tourism | Donald Wood | March 26, 2015

Colonial Williamsburg Making Changes to Draw More Tourists

Traveling to Colonial Williamsburg can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for visitors, and several new tourism proposals presented Monday are aimed at boosting the lagging interest in visiting the historic town.

According to Ian Brickey of Williamsburg Yorktown Daily, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance submitted their proposals for the next fiscal year to the Williamsburg City Council.

CWF President Mitchell Reiss and Alliance President and CEO Karen Riordan spoke to the council and requested government support to entice more visitors to the area. The CWF has requested $1.3 million and the Alliance has requested $900,000, combining for over $2 million in funds for the tourism boards.

While the CWF $1.3 million request was the same as the 2015 fiscal year, the Alliance has asked for $184,000 more for 2016. In her proposal, Riordan pointed to several new initiatives to increase traffic to the area.

Not only will the Alliance focus on the peak summer vacation season, but it will also invest heavily in tourism during the other times of year, including the Williamsburg Fall Arts festival and the influx of Christmas visitors, according to Brickey.

For the CWF, the plan for the money they are requesting will be to help make the town an attraction for longer hours. With a proposal to install a plethora of lights intended to make Williamsburg an equally entertaining destination at night and the addition of a tiered ticket structure, the changes would help the historic city become an even bigger draw.

Another major change overall is a concerted effort to switch from its current television-based commercial campaigns to more digital advertising.

After both parties made their cases Monday, Williamsburg City manager Jack Tuttle will now make the final budget proposal Friday.


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