The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is trying to entice hundreds of employees to retire early to ease the impact of a 10 percent drop in visitors this year.

Colonial Williamsburg officials said this week early retirement will be offered to 360 employees, about 8.6 percent of its total work force of 4,200.The early retirement program will not forestall the usual seasonal layoffs in January and February, the off-season at the restored colonial capital of Virginia, officials said.

The incentive was offered to management as well as unionized and non-unionized employees. Colonial Williamsburg spokesman Albert O. Louer said savings from the plan should be about $1 million.