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Sep 24, 2013
Mods, you may want to move this since I'm not sure where this should go.

VA Gazette Article on local Tourism

The Gazette is doing a mini series on local tourism and it includes a few details about Busch Gardens and attendance numbers. Warning, article is about 4 pages long so I didn't quote the entire thing. Nothing too groundbreaking but it is interesting to see the numbers compared to the other major attractions.

Also, I think it would be good to have a thread that focuses on local tourism as a whole because BG is part of the larger 'Williamsburg Market" and there are sometimes advertising/marketing decisions that are made because of the other attractions in the area. I mean, if we can have a thread devoted to shrubbery of all things...
That's a very interesting read. I'm surprised to hear numbers are that low across the city. I honestly haven't noticed that much of a difference, places /seem/ to be just as busy if not busier than I remember. Though I usually only venture to Williamsburg during peak times, so that could be part of the reason.

None the less, i'm glad to see that they at least acknowledge there is a problem and want to fix it. Unlike SEAS/BGW who pretend there isn't a problem and keep blaming the weather.
Right now I'd be comfortable blaming any disaster on the weather. I feel as I moved to North Dakota.
The weather hear drives me nuts, but I'm not old enough to move so nothing I can do there...
SeaWorld Parks' local attractions, Busch Gardens and Water Country USA, drew about 3 million visitors combined last year, according to industry sources.

So I guess we will not be seeing an increase in attendance for 2013?
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You know what's a fun thing to do after a bad Winter? Pack your crap and move back to San Diego. :)

Anyhow, the article was pretty telling. Seems to be a multifaceted issue. On a personal note, I've cancelled many a Williamsburg/Hampton Roads trip due to the traffic on the 64.
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Traffic on I95 north of Fredericksburg is a pretty huge deterrent for me. If my family didn't live in VB, I'm not sure how often I'd brave the drive. Not a fan of the HRBT either.
Great article. I love the Virginia Gazette.

I think the issue about transportation's effect on the tourism is repeat business. I loved my visit to New York city, but the drive there was insane. I prefer to have my own car if possible and refrain from renting one. (You save money on the flight and rental- which add up fast).

If people drive to the area and experience a horrible commute, they are less likely to come back and spend their money every year. I used to visit the Southside all the time, but now I avoid it like the plague. Concerts, restaurants, events, and museums over in Norfolk/ Virginia Beach... NOPE.

I am sure I am not the only one.
BGW and WCUSA have a lot of things going for them, but they also have a lot of things going against them that they cannot control. The Spring of 2013 was very rainy which put a damper on attendance I am sure. The summer was excessively hot, which might have helped WCUSA somewhat probably didn't help BGW. Virginia weather is just screwy anyways now. And seriously our area is hurt by transportation problems, especially going through the tunnels and 64 from NN to Richmond.
Nic said:
Traffic on I95 north of Fredericksburg is a pretty huge deterrent for me.  If my family didn't live in VB, I'm not sure how often I'd brave the drive.  Not a fan of the HRBT either.

I agree, we usually drive down on Friday nights and take 234 to 95 and it's normally stopped when we get there... After that point it is usually fine for me but I have heard that taking 17 to 95 is better than staying on 95, but I dunno.
Traffic in the Williamsburg area definitely is not a deterrent for me since it's way better than what I'm used to. Although, I can say that I do not do much else than go to BGW when I visit the area. Sometimes we'll go somewhere to eat or play minigolf or something, but nothing much.
Thanks MCMM for posting these!

I'm not looking for an argument, but I do want to say that most of what I speculated during the LCD thread is clearly stated in these articles as reasons why attendance has been down in the last 5 years. Weather, Recession and Area were all things I offered as possible problems and many disregarded me as a "newbie" that knew nothing about BG and pointed to quality as the culprit. While quality may have a small factor, I still feel these outside forces are more of the issue in attendance numbers and more or less in these articles, it has been confirmed.
Mind you too, that the Virginia Gazette specifically said these were possible causes of the down in attendance. On that note also, this article is aimed more towards Colonial Willamsburg, and other historical sites, they barely even speculate about what might be bringing BGW's, and WCUSA's attendance down.
The main idea of the article is that less people are coming to Williamsburg. That includes BGW and WCUSA. People just don't come here for the park they come for everything in the area and make the park part of their visit. That's where the attendance has dropped if there were figures on it I'm sure.
James said:
People just don't come here for the park they come for everything in the area and make the park part of their visit.

I highly disagree with this statement. I live over an hour away from BGW and WCUSA, and I do not typically visit anything else in the area except maybe a local Subway for dinner on the way home. BGW and WCUSA are, for people I know, the sole reasons for visiting the area. In fact, I'll bet the majority of my friends who attend BGW have never even been to Colonial Williamsburg. Since when was BGW not a "destination" attraction?
There are a lot of people that but the bounce pass. So if they want to visit CW, they figure why not spend a few more bucks and get to BGW and WCUSA while we're at it. This is in addition to the majority of the people that come to visit BGW.
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