WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – This past tourist season was arguably the most successful in the history of the Battleship North Carolina.
Officials announced Thursday that the battleship saw a huge increase in visitor numbers, revenue, and store sales during the summer tourist season, which was a welcomed return after a challenging 2020 due to COVID-related restrictions.
Memorial Day weekend set the tone for the rest of the summer, with more than 2,700 visitors checking out the battleship. Captain Terry Bragg, the executive director of the Battleship North Carolina, said that was the second-highest admission numbers he’s seen during his 12-year tenure at the battleship.
Overall, the battleship saw about 191,000 visitors in FY 2021 compared to just 95,000 during the same time period last year. Concurrently, each month this past summer topped the corresponding month in 2019. Last July saw the most visitors than any other July over the past ten years.
“The battleship has long been a driver of the Wilmington area’s tourism economy and we’re happy to see so many people returning to the battleship,” Bragg said.
As a result of the increased foot traffic, the battleship’s gift shop saw a record-breaking boost as sales topped $1 million for the first time ever.
“This summer has been a strong win for the battleship, showing that changing safety guidelines, staffing and supply chain issues are complications that can be overcome,” Bragg added.
The battleship’s full public tour route is open for self-guided tours, with masks required for all indoor areas of the ship and visitors center in accordance with local and state guidelines and regulations.
Oct. 2 marks the 60th anniversary of the battleship’s arrival in Wilmington.
Copyright 2021 WECT. All rights reserved.