‘We Are Tourism’ drives Williamsburg’s economy

WILLIAMSBURG, VA—With a constant stream of visitors, students, residents and retirees mingling amongst the living history implanted in Williamsburg, one does not have to think twice about how the city makes their money. Colonial Williamsburg and William and Mary are the two big institutions in the city itself with other events including Williamsburg Live, Ampersand International Arts Festival, Grand Illumination and more big events like these that are large drivers of tourism in the City of Williamsburg, said Joanna Skrabala, tourism development director. 

“The best answer for [how tourism affects the local economy] and the simplest answer is tax dollars,” said Skrabala. “We are tourism.”

Sammy Pietrinferno

“Because tourism is such a big part of the community, we have a massive amount of jobs that are a part of the tourism industry,” said Skrabala. 

According to the Economic Development Department of the City of Williamsburg, “the majority of the 700 business establishments within the City either fall into the retail trade or accommodation/food services category, which cater to the 6-8 million annual area visitors.”

“We are neighbors to William and Mary so [the school] keeps us pretty steady throughout the year,” said Kelly Williams, front of house manager at DoG Street Pub. “… those short weekends during the holidays where it kind of quiets out gives us a moment to actually breathe because once school goes into full effect and the weekends and the weather gets even better…fall really just opens right up.”

DoG Street Pub located on the corner of Duke of Gloucester Street and South Henry Street in Downtown Williamsburg.The restaurant embraces the city’s culture of living history as it operates in an old 1900’s bank.