VIRGINIA BEACH, Va (WAVY) — Even with gas hitting record prices, people are pumped to travel!
“I think probably most of the resort area will be sold out,” Virginia Beach Hotel Association President John Zirlke told 10 On Your Side.
Zirkle reports tourists are even planning to stay longer ..three, four, even five-night stays from Saturday through next Wednesday.
“We’re all worried about gas prices, personally, and for business, the good news about our area, and it sounds counterintuitive, but we’re a drive to the destination so you don’t have to fly,” he said.
AAA Tidewater says the share of people traveling by air will be the lowest since 2011, citing recent issues with delayed and canceled flights as reasons more travelers are taking to the road.
“Middle of the day is usually when people like to travel so traveling early in the morning or later at night you could be less likely to hit that traffic,” said AAA spokesperson, Ryan Adcock.
42 million are expected to drive this Independence Day weekend with the most traffic expected this Thursday and Friday.
It means you may double your usual drive times near big cities, but Zirkle said it should pay off down the road.
“It means, for the citizens of Virginia Beach anyway, more tax revenue going into the city so we can keep hiring those policemen, firefighters, school teachers and everything.”
While travelers are back from pre-pandemic levels staffing is not.
Zirkle told 10 On Your Side the good news is that they are now able to welcome back the J1 visa students. About 1,200 young adults, mostly from eastern Europe, are in Hampton Roads for the summer and many are working two jobs which he said is a God-send for the strip.