The Coastal Plain region of Virginia has several main industries; including shipbuilding, tourism, and federal military installations. Data recently released by the U.S. Travel Association shows tourism revenue for Virginia Beach reached $1.4 billion in 2015, a 2.4 percent increase over 2014, and local tourism-supported jobs totaled 12,924. The increase is largely attributed to Virginia’s authentic, local travel experiences, diversity of tourism product, and the notable efforts of the destination marketing organizations and their leadership.
“All it takes is one exploration gone wrong to do immeasurable harm to major economic drivers including tourism, fishing, aquaculture, and our military installations,” said Governor Ralph Northam. Four military bases in Virginia Beach have a tremendous economic impact on the region, with the Department of Defense spending $11 billion in 2002, and increasing in following years due to the War with Iraq. The bases include Oceana Naval Air Station, the largest master jet base in the United States, employing 12,000; Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base, which employs 13,000; Fort Story, which conducts amphibious training operations and employs approximately 1,200 military and civilian personnel; and Dam Neck, a training base for combat direction and control systems, which employs 4,700 persons.