Leesburg Marks Breakout Year for Tourism

It’s been an outstanding year for tourism in the county seat.

That’s according to Visit Loudoun CEO Beth Erickson, and she has the numbers to back it up.

Erickson appeared before the Leesburg Town Council on Tuesday to present the tourism body’s annual report, and said the town had clear growth across all measures of tourism activity.

Perhaps most impressive is the town’s 6.1 percent increase in average daily rate, an indicator that measures the average hotel rental income per paid occupied room in a given time period.

“For the first time in seven to eight years the ADR outpaced daily occupancy numbers [in Leesburg]. That’s huge, huge growth,” Erickson said.

The town even beat out Loudoun County’s ADR number of 5.2 percent, Erickson said. “Leesburg is outpacing what’s happening throughout the entire county.”

Sales efforts by Visit Loudoun staff members accounted for 14,437 room nights in Leesburg, a 44 percent increase over this time last year, Erickson said.

“For Leesburg in particular the unique visitors per month is tracking at 104 percent of the results from last year,” she added.

Erickson pointed to nationwide media coverage of the town and its tourism opportunities, as well as the growth of the corporate travel market, as key wins for Leesburg hotels. She said hotels in town are approaching maximum occupancy even during the work weeks.

Erickson will be back before the council soon, ahead of the beginning of fiscal year 2019 budget deliberations, to discuss the tourism body and the town’s Memorandum of Understanding. Earlier this year, the council voted to cut Visit Loudoun’s annual funding by $30,000 in the FY2018 budget and had asked for an MOU detailing expectations and quantifiable measures of success. That was later signed by both parties.

Councilman Tom Dunn praised Visit Loudoun on Tuesday night for being able to show what it does with the town’s annual funding.

“Your organization is one of the very, very few we can point to and see a return on investment,” he said.

krodriguez@loudounnow.com

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