Answers provided by Cindy Brouillard, Director of Tourism for Newport News Tourism Development Office
How is your market doing in terms of yearly revenue, year/year hotel occupancy and year/year RevPAR?
From 2015 to 2016, yearly revenue is up 7.7 percent from; hotel occupancy is up 4.8 percent; and RevPAR is up 7.7 percent.
What new projects/developments or changes in business practices are coming in the next year and beyond? How will these projects/developments impact visitation?
We’re working on a regional beer, wine and spirits trail (Toast the Coast) for our region. The popularity of these trails nationwide is exciting. You can find a map on our website that features not only the facilities in Newport News but our neighbors as well.
What are your largest challenges and obstacles? Who is your competition?
We are all competition for one another in our region, but we use it to our advantage and include our neighbors in our attractiveness as a vacation destination. We have so much to offer collectively, and our visitors do not have the boundaries nor do they realize when they cross into another city. It benefits us all when we sell collectively as it can extend our visitor’s stay.
What does tourism mean to the City of Newport News? How does it affect local taxes, and how does it affect our quality of life? How does it help drive our local economy, jobs and the quality of our schools and education system?Tourism is very important to our city. It is an economic generator that not only brings in tax revenues but also creates jobs. It enhances the quality of life not only for our residents but it provides experiences for our visitors. The taxes generated by tourism helps our city in every aspect including our schools and education system.
From a tourism standpoint, the combined assets of Coastal Virginia seem hard to rival. Do you feel that the cities of Coastal Virginia sufficiently work together to boost tourism? If not, how do you think that the relationships among cities could improve?
Yes, we work extremely well together to sell our region. We have a Coastal Virginia Tourism Alliance where we meet monthly to share information and brainstorm ideas of how we can collectively promote tourism. In addition, we attend tradeshows together and bring in familiarization tours into our region and work together to showcase one another.