Provided by City of Manassas
Data released by the United States Travel Association (USTA) reveals that all regions in Virginia posted an increase in tourism activity last year. The City of Manassas continued its trend of annual gains for the 9th consecutive year with expenditures reaching $72.7 million, a 2.3% increase from 2017.
Tourism is a critical contributor to the Manassas economy. In 2018, visitor spending was directly responsible for 583 jobs with an annual payroll of $12.3 million and $1.9 million in local tax receipts.
Efforts by the City of Manassas to promote a strong tourism economy benefits local residents as well as visitors. In the 2018 Manassas Citizen Satisfaction Survey, 85% of residents loved the events and festivals put on in the historic downtown district. These events drove local and visiting traffic to the downtown area, aiding in the ongoing revitalization effort by spurring more small business investment and entrepreneurial activity. Since 2014, confidence in the city’s revitalization efforts, ability to attract and retain private sector jobs, and availability of employment have all increased.
“This past year more than 450,000 people came to Manassas to visit our attractions or to enjoy our festivals, parades, events, and markets. That number increased 20% by 70,000 people from last year,” said Manassas Mayor Hal Parrish. “In the most recent Citizen Satisfaction survey, residents ranked Manassas 22% higher than the national average as a place to visit.” Positioning the city as a tourist destination has also created an outstanding place to live. Over 75% of residents plan to stay in Manassas for at least the next two years, and 80% have lived in Manassas for over five years already.
“Virginia’s tourism industry had a banner year in 2018, hitting new records and making important impacts on our communities across the Commonwealth,” said Rita McClenny, President and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Virginia is for Lovers and the tourism industry’s continued growth this year, we also celebrate the people who impact and influence our communities with their vision, passion, and love for the tourism industry. Our industry is made up of creative, hard-working, and dedicated professionals, and they work every day to make our communities more vibrant and dynamic. They help to make Virginia the best place to live, work, and visit, and are our most powerful ambassadors for Virginia is for Lovers.”