Tourism Rebounds in Prince William County, Manassas

| February 12, 2016 | 0 Comments | News
Staff member of Discover Prince William & Manassas, the department of tourism, in 2014 following their status update luncheon.

Staff member of Discover Prince William & Manassas, which handles tourism for the area in 2014, following their status update luncheon.

By Sterling Giles of Capital News Service

In the wake of the federal shutdown in 2013, tourism screeched to a halt in the nation’s capital and surrounding areas. But in the 2015 fiscal year, various localities, including Prince William County and Manassas, experienced substantial growth in tourism traffic and revenue.

Nicole Warner, marketing and communications specialist for Discover Prince William & Manassas, said the federal shutdown took a big toll on Northern Virginia in October 2013.

“It was a huge hit for hotels. Several companies and federal agencies were out of work and couldn’t pay for traveling expenses. Due to the proximity of the counties to D.C., it was a huge, huge hit,” Warner said.

According to the 2015 annual report by Discover Prince William & Manassas, hotel occupancy tax revenues jumped by almost 7 percent – to more than $3.3 million. Overall, tourism pumped $593 million into the economy of Prince William County and Manassas – a 3.8 percent increase from the previous year.

Tourism in the two localities supported about 6,600 jobs and produced almost $35 million in state and local taxes.

Jennifer Becker, the general manager of the Manassas Hampton Inn, said she noticed a shift in the type of tourist traffic.

“The leisure market has picked up in the last few years – typically it’s business people,” Becker said.

The surge in leisure tourism stems from the number of shopping centers, museums and historic sites in Prince William County. It is home to such popular destinations as the Manassas National Battlefield Park, the National Museum of the Marine Corps and the Potomac Mills shopping mall.

© 2016, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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