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Richmond businesses hope to cash in on expected record tourism this summer

Richmond Regional Tourism wants locals to stay local while enticing those from out of state to come and spend.
Published: May. 31, 2022 at 3:35 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond Region Tourism wants locals to stay local while enticing those from out of state to come and spend.

Out on the open water, Paddle Club RVA owners Jack Maher and Jack Walten say it was an easy decision to set up shop along the James River.

“This is a local business. You get to see some of the best sights in Richmond with the skyline up there,” said Maher.

The business offers a boat booze cruise from Rocketts Landing, including cycling yourself, if you want. The owners are also hoping to boost the bottom line from an influx of tourists.

“This past weekend was our official launch date and we were packed and it was just a blast. We had such a great time out on the water,” said Maher.

A new marketing campaign from Richmond Region Tourism is airing in cities within a day’s drive of the state capital and is targeting travelers concerned about ever-rising gas prices.

Bouncing back from the pandemic, Richmond Region Tourism says the number of people coming to the River City for a visit is surpassing 2019 numbers.

“The words starting to spread pretty quickly I think so we’re hoping to cash in on that,” said Walten.

July 2021 was the busiest ever for regional tourism, with nearly 70% of hotel space occupied. The main drivers behind the tourism boost include visits from family and friends, leisure travel and sports tourism.

“We have multiple sporting events every single weekend this summer so this will be a record summer with sports tourism coupled with the leisure traveler and family and friends so we are expecting a huge summer traveling business,” said Jack Berry, Richmond Region Tourism president and CEO.

Berry added that they haven’t seen the return of business travel just yet. But he says once companies relax travel policies, they expect to see business tourism only increase the already record-shattering numbers for the Richmond area.

For more information about Paddle Club RVA click here.

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