Interview with Visit Loudoun President & CEO Beth Erickson, by Grafton deButts.
The World Police & Fire Games informational meeting will take place on Monday, March 2nd at the LCPS Administration Building from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. Light food and drink will be provided at this FREE event. We do ask that you RSVP.
Q: What is the impact of tourism in Loudoun County?
Tourism is big business and generates economic benefits for Loudoun County and its jurisdictions —$1.5 billion in revenue in 2013—and supports 15,871 hospitality-related jobs. Tourism also provides a tax relief of $620.78 per Loudoun household.
Q: Because Loudoun is hosting eight events in the upcoming WPFG, how many visitors do we expect for the five days the games are in town?
The WPFG estimates the games will attract 12,000 athletes from 70 countries competing in 61 sports over 10 days. In addition to traditional Olympic sports such as track and field, swimming, hockey, cycling, archery and triathlon, many competitions will display skills related to the public safety professions. Fairfax 2015 also estimates the games will attract up to 30,000 family visitors to Northern Virginia.
The 2015 Games will be June 26 – July 5, 2015 at venues across Northern Virginia. Loudoun County is currently planned to host events at eight venues, which can draw more than 3,400 athletes. Admission is free.
Q: With so many tourists, how should businesses prepare to capitalize on this once in a generation opportunity like hosting these games?
The WPFG has a robust Merchant Incentive Program designed to drive traffic to participating businesses while enhancing the experience of attending athletes, friends, families and volunteers through discounts or special offers.
Q: What about those business that don’t work directly with tourists, but still want to support the event, what can they do?
WPFG has created a highly specialized sponsorship program that will enable area businesses to benefit from the projected $60-80 million economic impact the games may bring to the area. The event organizers are also looking for volunteers.
Q: After the games are over, what can Chamber Members do if they want to participate in more tourism related business opportunities?
We’re looking forward to the third annual Epicurience Virginia food and wine festival as we celebrate and highlight our culinary community over Labor Day weekend. I’m also thrilled that Loudoun County was selected to host the Wine Tourism Conference in November 2015. We are looking for strategic business partners as well as sponsors for both of these events.
Beyond events, Visit Loudoun encourages our business community to bring group meetings, conferences and incentive trips to Loudoun County. Not only is Loudoun County remarkably beautiful, but we have outstanding meeting facilities and unique venues to get business done while contributing to our tax base. We’re here to make bringing meetings to Loudoun County easy. Just contact Ritter@visitloudoun.org.