War Tourism

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Virginia is for drivers. State tourism numbers show that 85 percent of visitors come to Virginia by car. Even with many Americans worried about war in Iraq and potential terrorist attacks, the state's popularity with motorists is likely to keep the tourism industry here relatively strong this year.

Martha Steger, director of public relations for the Virginia Tourism Corporation, noted that 2001 saw a $200,000 drop in travel spending in Virginia $12.9 billion. Those are the most recent numbers available.

The biggest drop came in northern Virginia after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. She says it's amazing that state tourism didn't drop more.

The state's two theme parks, Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Paramount King's Dominion in Doswell, opened for the season last weekend.

Mark Riddell at King's Dominion says opening numbers were up from last year.

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