1969 was the year that someone first started officially saying that Virgina was for lovers. This tourism slogan quickly spread across the state, and it wound up being copied, mimicked, modified, or just outright stolen by quite a few places across the United States that were trying to draw in tourists and their dollars too.
Many towns, cities, and states rely on tourism for income. Tourists don’t really need much in the way of government services, but they spend a lot, meaning the local authorities have more funds to spend on badly needed services, especially in areas that might not have other industries able to support them.
Virginia is certainly not hurting financially in many areas, but the state can always use more money. There are urban areas that are doing quite well. The capital city of Richmond has a diverse and vibrant economy that is doing rather well, and there is certainly affluence in the southern suburbs of Washington, D.C. The Tidewater area collection of cities like Suffolk, Norfolk, Hampton Roads, Portsmouth, And Virgina Beach are the largest metropolitan area in the United States not to have a professional sports franchise among the nation’s major leagues. Residents chagrin over this, but it is a sign of the growth of the area.
Having said all that, the central plains and rolling hills are not the hotbed of economic activity they once were, having fallen prey to the decrease in demand for tobacco, as well as the fall of the manufacturing and textile sectors and industries over time. The western mountains are also not always economically vibrant too. While not as poor as the Appalachia regions of Kentucky or West Virginia, many mountain counties struggle to provide high-caliber services and economic development.
Fortunately, the state has many tourist hotspots that draw in visitors and dollars from other places, leaving taxable commerce that provides the state with dollars to spend from one border to the next. Bristol has a speedway that brings in race fans, and the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah Skyline lure drivers who love scenic vistas and the open road. Natural Bridge has a geographic rock arch, as well as eclectic sights like Foamhenge. Richmond retains history of several centuries, and the coast has a World War II battleship, Civil War remnants, and a recreation of colonial Jamestown, along with historic Williamsburg and Busch Gardens.