How will the new ‘WWII Heritage City’ designation impact our tourism?

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington has been named the first World War II Heritage City in the United States. You may be wondering what kind of impact that will have on our tourism.

Last year, tourism brought about $650 million to the Port City.

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Since the pandemic began, Wilmington Visitor Bureau President Kim Hufham says tourism has suffered and with indoor entertainment venues closed and traveling restricted, calling 2020 a slow year for tourism is an understatement.

“From a tourism standpoint, it will help us raise awareness of Wilmington’s reputation as a historical destination,” Hufham said. “And especially bring attention to our World War II heritage that many people aren’t that aware of.”

From 1941 to 1945, Wilmington’s USO hosted 35,000 soldiers a week.

It was also the home of the North Carolina Ship Building Company, which built 243 ships for the war effort.

Hufham says this project was 12 years in the making, and she’s thrilled it’s finally happened.