- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Virginia Beach’s tourism leader is planning to retire in 2016.

Jim Ricketts says he will stay on the job until April 1.

The Virginia Beach tourism industry is responsible for $1.4 billion in direct travel-related expenditures and $115 million in state and local tax revenue.

Ricketts has worked for Virginia Beach since 1974 and has earned the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau numerous tourism awards. Ricketts is also a founding member of the Coastal Virginia Tourism Alliance and serves on the board of the U.S. Travel Association. Ricketts has spent the past several years focused on making Virginia Beach a year-round destination.

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