The Virginia Beach tourism industry experienced a record 2012 for overall lodging sales. This is the third consecutive year for increased sales and revenue for the city.
The Convention and Visitors Bureau received statistics from the City of Virginia Beach Treasurer’s Office that revealed significant increases in lodging sales and related tax revenue in 2012. This covers all hotels in Virginia Beach, most of which are located at the oceanfront resort area, as well as vacation home rentals at Sandbridge and other areas, and campgrounds.
Visitor spending on overnight accommodations is the best indicator of the overall health of the city’s tourism industry. The 2012 statistics show that total citywide sales were more than $301 million — a 7.9 percent increase over 2011.
“With this being the city’s 50th anniversary, I’ve considered how the tourism and convention industry has evolved over the years and continues to grow and remain strong for Virginia Beach,” said James B. Ricketts, director of the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Virginia Beach’s performance is a tribute to the ambition and success of our industry.”
In addition, citywide restaurant sales, participatory sports and amusements revenue were all up. Restaurant sales were up to more than $993 million — a 5 percent increase. Participatory sports sales were up to more than $16 million — a 4.8 percent increase. Amusement sales were up to more than $48 million — a 6.3 percent increase.
Virginia Beach is among the most popular tourism and convention destinations on the East Coast. With more hotels, entertainment and shopping options than ever, it’s the ideal place to visit year-round. The city features 35 miles of beautiful beaches on the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay, and a 525,000-square-foot convention center. Since the Convention Center opened in 2005, it has hosted close to 2,500 events.