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Tourists are returning to Richmond, slowly but surely

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Posted at 12:37 PM, Jul 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-21 12:38:04-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The tourism industry is starting to heal across the country from the brutal hit dealt by the ongoing pandemic -- including in Richmond.

Katherine O’Donnell, executive vice president of Richmond Region Tourism, said 86% of American travelers are planning to travel in the next six months -- and some are headed to Virginia's capitol city.

Hotels are starting to feel full on the weekends, and O'Donnell added they’ve heard from hotels that staffing issues are slowly improving.

There has also been an increase in visitors at tourism spots like museums and other area attractions, according to O'Donnell.

"I would say that...every day we get out of bed and promote the Richmond region to visitors because we love living here," O'Donnell said. "And we believe that the Richmond region is a fantastic and world-class tourism destination."

One way the Richmond Region Tourism does that is with their “I Am Tourism" workshops, which are being held in-person for the first time since the start of pandemic on Wednesday.

The workshops are free and designed to help citizens engage in tourism, and learn all about everything there is to see and do in the Richmond region -- as well as the tools offered to find things to do.

It consists of a half-day workshop with an interactive exercise, in-classroom learning, and then a bus tour, provided by The Valentine, of the downtown area.

“I think this is a great opportunity for us as citizens of RVA to remind ourselves why we love living here, and get back out there and go to the museums or the locally-owned shops or the restaurants that we all have loved," said O'Donnell. "And this is a time to do it. Folks are vaccinated, things are safer now. So we encourage everyone to to get out.”

While Wednesday's workshop is full already, there is another one being held on Sept. 15. You can register here.