In April 2002, the city council of Virginia Beach, Virginia, passed new regulations allowing hotels located at the oceanfront resort area to grow to a maximum height of 200-feet tall, up from the previous height of 100 feet. This article is an investigation of the possible effects this new regulation may have on tourism in Virginia Beach. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) were used to construct a three-dimensional model of the oceanfront resort area and to generate simulations representing possible development scenarios that may occur due to this new regulation. Taller hotels along the boardwalk may have an effect on open space and views of the Atlantic Ocean. Viewshed analysis was performed to examine the potential effects of views of the beach and ocean under each simulation. Finally, a discussion of the potential impacts to the area from a tourism and economic view was examined. This model and its accompanying simulations offer a tool for visualizing and analyzing the changes to the resort area once the construction of taller hotels begins along the boardwalk and the potential effects this will have on tourism.
*Department of Geography, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH 2:
†Department of Political Science and Geography, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA
Publication date: January 1, 2004
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The aim of Tourism Analysis is to promote a forum for practitioners and academicians in the fields of Leisure, Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality (LRTH). As a interdisciplinary journal, it is an appropriate outlet for articles, research notes, and computer software packages designed to be of interest, concern, and of applied value to its audience of professionals, scholars, and students of LRTH programs the world over.