WILLIAMSBURG, Va., January 25, 2013 – Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center, living-history museums operated by the state’s Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, experienced a downturn in visitation in 2012, with total paid attendance of 560,519 reflecting a 4.4 percent drop from 2011. Admissions revenue totaled to $5,030,417, a decline of 2.6 percent.
Paid attendance was 402,318 at Jamestown Settlement, 3.2 percent less than in 2011. The Yorktown Victory Center saw a 7.3 percent decrease, with 158,201 paid visitors.
“Overall visitation kept pace with the previous year in the first half of 2012,” said Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Senior Director of Marketing and Retail Operations Susan Bak, “but during the second half dropped significantly in several months that are crucial for individual and group visitation. There were declines in both segments for the year, with individuals down by 2 percent and groups by 8.4 percent.”
Bak cited the national economy, fluctuating gas prices, and shrinking school budgets as key factors in impacting visitation. “Beginning in early spring, reduced funding for field trips negatively impacted the group segment. By mid-summer, consumers’ expectations of economic recovery dipped, and the individual segment contracted.”
Ticket sales to individuals accounted for 64.6 percent of total paid visitation at Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center in 2012. An estimated 75 percent of individual visitors came from outside Virginia. Group visitation, including school field trips, comprised 35.4 percent of total paid visitation. (Participation in Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation outreach education programs conducted off site is not included in paid museum visitation.)
“We continue to reach out to prospective visitors with a variety of ticket and package options available on the historyisfun.org website, emphasis on Internet search marketing, and a commitment to destination marketing,” Bak said. “We will continue our work with area partners to promote cooperative tickets and vacation packages that include our museums along with Busch Gardens®, Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City and Art Museums, Historic Jamestowne, Water Country USA® and Yorktown Battlefield.”
In addition to paid visitation, there were a total of 58,956 complimentary admissions at the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation museums in 2012, including residents of the City of Williamsburg and James City and York counties, children under 6, group escorts, and promotional admissions.
Jamestown Settlement is located on State Route 31 just southwest of Williamsburg. The Yorktown Victory Center is on Route 1020 in Yorktown. The museums are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. 2013 general admission is $16.00 for adults and $7.50 for ages 6 through 12 at Jamestown Settlement, and $9.75 for adults and $5.50 for ages 6 through 12 at the Yorktown Victory Center. A value-priced combination ticket for both museums is $20.50 for adults and $10.25 for ages 6 through 12. Joint tickets with other Williamsburg attractions also are available. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838 or visit hif.ciniva.net.