Pow Wow International 2007

The recent massacre of 32 Virginia college students will not overshadow celebrations to mark the 400th anniversary of European settlement in the US, organisers have claimed.

The event takes place in historic Jamestown between May 11 and 13 and will be attended by the Queen along with an expected 20,000 tourists, many from the UK.

Virginia Tourism Corporation president and chief executive Alisa Bailey said the students of Virginia Tech in the nearby town of Hopewell are slowly coming to terms with the tragic events of April 16 when 23-year-old Cho Seung-hui went on a killing spree.

Bailey said: “Everybody understands that something like the killings could have happened anywhere.

“Hopefully the events at Virginia Tech will encourage greater scrutiny on the sale of firearms but if someone is intent on finding a way of doing harm, they’re going to do it.

“We don’t believe it’ll be necessary to do any advertising to reassure tourists they will understand that we are going through the healing process.”

Bailey added that 230,000 UK tourists visited the state of Virginia last year alone.

More from Pow Wow