Destination Analysis Professor ______ HTM 100 April 29, 2011 Explain the overall reasons why people travel to this destination Williamsburg, Virginia is a huge tourist destination and one of the most popular in the United States. People travel from across the country to this tiny town for several reasons. First, is for educational reasons. Williamsburg is home to a full scale reenactment of the eighteenth century known as “Colonial Williamsburg. ” Tourists are able to experience life as it was in the early years of the nation through several different methods.
Colonial Williamsburg is comprised of many original buildings, hundreds of homes, shops, and public buildings reconstructed over 301 acres. There are also rare animal breeds, real tradesmen, and gardens to add authenticity to the recreated town. There are also daily programs geared towards kids and African-Americans, ghost tours, museums and even fife and drum performances. Second, people travel to Williamsburg to have fun. Williamsburg is the home of the Busch Gardens and Water Country USA theme park. It is a 150 acre park with dozens of rides and roller coasters along with a wildlife reserve for endangered animals.
On the other end of the spectrum, Williamsburg boasts more than a dozen golf courses designed by some of the most notable architects, Arnold Palmer, Rees Jones, and Curtis Strange. And for visitors that define fun differently, Williamsburg also contains an outlet mall which is the largest shopping facility in the area. There are more than 100 brand name and designer outlet stores like Ann Taylor, Burberry, Lacoste, and Polo Ralph Lauren. Lastly, people travel to Williamsburg for scholarly purposes. Williamsburg is the home of the College of William and Mary, the second oldest college in he United States and the only one possessing a royal charter from the King and Queen of England. Every year, high school students from across the country and even the world come to Williamsburg in order to do college visits and find out more about the school. The school has students from all 50 states and 43 foreign countries and has graduates that include Supreme Court Justices, Oscar winning performers, and even several American Presidents. Examine the infrastructure this destination has or doesn’t have to support current and future tourism demand (e. g. , airport, highways, etc. ).
Infrastructure is defined as the basic, underlying foundation of a city or town. Things such as roadways, airports, train tracks, seaports and even sidewalks are examples of infrastructure. The infrastructure in and around the town of Williamsburg is sufficient for the time being but will need major upgrades in the future. Because Williamsburg is a town that prides itself on history and historical accuracy, making infrastructure changes might encounter some pushback from the community. Accessibility to Williamsburg is limited to the size of the local airport and the capacity of local highway and thoroughfares.
Williamsburg is serviced by a small regional airport known as the Williamsburg/Newport News airport that handles air traffic but does not accept international flights. This airport is roughly 20 miles from the city itself, meaning that tourists flying into the area would need to find a supplemental type of transportation to the destination. There are also the Norfolk International Airport and Richmond International Airport which do serve international flights but both are each 50 minutes away from the city.
In order to support more tourism in the future there are two options: create a cheap and easy shuttle service for tourists from the airports to Williamsburg or build a new airport closer to the town. Another important aspect of the Williamsburg infrastructure is the town’s access via Virginia’s Interstate 64. This road is the only way to access many of the attractions in the area, including Busch Gardens, historic Yorktown, and the Jamestown settlement. This thoroughfare is also used from travel into the resorts of Virginia Beach.
Because all of these towns are so close and the interstate is only 4 lanes, there is constant congestion and slow traffic, especially on weekends during the Spring and Summer. This is the time of year that many schools travel to Williamsburg and families make the annual journeys to the beach. A solution to this problem would be to widen the road from two lanes in each direction to three, easing the current crowding. Assess how the plans for hotel and restaurant development at this destination will support the growth of tourism given the current number of hotels, hotel rooms, and restaurants available
There are currently no major plans for hotel or restaurant development in the greater Williamsburg area. While there is no estimate as to the of amount of available hotel rooms in the town, there is currently a wide range of lodging choices for tourists, including hotels, resorts, timeshares, bed & breakfasts, and even campgrounds. As a tourist town, Williamsburg boasts just about every major chain restaurant and fast food place. There are also wineries and a brewery that give tours, offer samples, and the opportunity to purchase their products as well.
In order to plan for greater tourism in the future, new mixed use hotel and restaurant developments could be built with a focus on family travel. Because of family-friendly nature of Williamsburg attractions, this would be the best option. Propose three new attractions, features, amenities, infrastructure changes, or other offerings that you believe this destination needs to prepare for the future. Though Williamsburg has a great foundation, there are some improvements that could be made in order to prepare for the future.
First, major infrastructure changes could be made in order to better serve a larger number of tourists, starting with an airport expansion. This would make access to the town of Williamsburg and all of its attractions so much easier for out of town visitors that do not live within driving distance. Second, creating easy access to the local beach would be a great next step. For being so close to the coast and attractions such as Virginia Beach, Williamsburg is missing out on a key opportunity to develop its water access.
Lastly, better access to parking for visitors is something that Williamsburg needs to better prepare for the future. The vast majority of the attractions and features in Williamsburg are outside and as a small town, there is only a limited amount of space that can be dedicated for parking. A solution would be to invest in parking decks that blend in with the colonial architecture of the area and would not stand out or become an eyesore. People travel to Williamsburg for the history and even something as basic as a parking garage must fit the surroundings in order to keep the colonial magic alive.
Reference Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. (2011). Colonial Williamsburg: That the Future May Learn from the Past. Retrieved from http://www. history. org/ The William & Mary Office of Creative Services. (2011). William and Mary. Retrieved from http://www. wm. edu Virginia Department of Transportation. (April 2011). Virginia Department of Transportation. Retrieved from http://www. virginiadot. org Williamsburg Area Destination Marketing Committee. (2011). Visit Williamsburg. Retrieved from http://www. visitwilliamsburg. com/index. aspx