By Jennifer Buske
Tourism revenue is on the rise in Prince William County, Manassas, Manassas Park and across the state, according to the latest data released by the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
In 2011, visitors to Prince William generated $487 million in revenue, up almost 10 percent from 2010. In the City of Manassas and Manassas Park, visitors generated about $61 million, up 11 percent from 2010.
“Tourism is a critical part of our local economy and we are thrilled to see that it is a growing industry for our community,” Discover Prince William & Manassas Executive Director Ann Marie Maher said. “With quaint historic towns, numerous parks, museums , attractions, Civil War and military history all within close proximity to the nation’s capital, I am confident we will remain a top visitor destination for years to come.”
The figures, which were calculated by the U.S. Travel Association, represent what domestic travelers spent on everything from meals, lodging and transportation to shopping, tickets, arts and entertainment.
Like in years past, the top attractions in Prince William and Manassas remain Manassas National Battlefield Park and the National Museum of the Marine Corps, which saw about 640,000 and 521,000 visitors, respectively in 2011. Other popular attractions include Potomac Mills, Leesylvania State Park, Prince William Forest Park, Old Town Manassas, Historic Occoquan, Splashdown WaterPark and the Hylton Performing Arts Center.
Not only did tourism provide additional revenue in 2011, but it provided more jobs. Tourism supported 5,800 jobs in Prince William last year, up about 3 percent from 2010, and supported 548 jobs in Manassas and Manassas Park, up about 5 percent.
Tourism is also on the rise across the Commonwealth. In 2011, it generated $20.4 billion in revenue, up 8 percent from 2010, Gov. Bob. McDonnell said earlier this month. Tourism supported 207,000 jobs and provided more than $1.32 billion in state and local taxes, he said.