Industry News

Click the links below to learn more about what is happening in tourism in Virginia.
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  • 31 May 2012 10:35 AM | Deleted user
    For Immediate Release (Warrenton, VA) - The Virginia Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus (VACVB), an association supporting destination marketing organizations and the development of tourism and travel professionals in Virginia, announced the winners of the 2012 VIRGO Awards at their Spring 2012 Meeting held in Hampton, Virginia on May 21 and 22.

    The VIRGO Awards, now in their fourth year, celebrate the success of destination marketing organizations along with their respective staff members and volunteers. In describing the awards, VIRGO Program Chair Thersa Earles of Suffolk, Virginia, said “For the past four years, VACVB has been honoring the best and brightest tourism stars.  A friendly competition among Virginia’s destination marketing organizations, the VIRGO Awards provide an excellent opportunity for statewide recognition, as well as peer assessment.“

    The VIRGO Awards are split into 15 categories and 33 nominations were submitted for consideration this year.  The awards are determined based on the quality of the submission, economic efficiency, quality, and the economic or community impact.  The winners of the 2012 VIRGO Awards for their respective categories are listed below.

    1. Advertising & Promotions: Broadcast: discoverLynchburg, “The Burg on TV in DC”
    2. Advertising & Promotions: Combination: Hampton CVB, “This Is Hampton”
    3. Advertising & Promotions: Interactive: Orange CVB,  “Experience, Remember, Celebrate Orange County Via the Web”
    4. Advertising & Promotions: Online & eMarketing: Visit Fairfax, “2011 Visit Fairfax Online Marketing Campaign”
    5. Advertising & Promotions: Print: discoverLynchburg, “Meet Lynchburg”
    6. Destination Event of the Year: Prince William CVB, “Reenactment of the Battle of 1st Manassas/Bull Run”
    7. DMO "Rising Star" Leadership Award: Hampton CVB, “Bruce Newton - Rising Star”
    8. Eco-Tourism: Suffolk Division of Tourism, “10th Annual Suffolk Swamp Roar Motorcycle Rally”
    9. Heritage Tourism: Suffolk Division of Tourism, “Legends of Main St.: A Suffolk Ghost Walk”
    10. International Marketing & Promotions: Visit Fairfax, “2011 Visit Fairfax International eMail Campaign”
    11. Public Relations Initiative: discoverLynchburg, “The Excellence Express”
    12. Regional Marketing Initiative: Coastal Virginia Tourism Alliance (CVTA),  “Coastal Virginia Branding”
    13. Sales Manager/Team of the Year: Chesapeake CVB, “Sales Manager of the Year - Janet T. Wenger”
    14. Visitor Center of the Year: Suffolk Division of Tourism, “Suffolk Visitor Center & Pavilion”
    15. Peer Selected “Best in Show”: Staunton CVB, “Love the Local Vibe”

    “We continue to be impressed with the creativeness and high quality of projects that our tourism partners across Virginia develop each year. Judging is not easy because there are so many nominated projects that are worthy of a VIRGO Award,” said VACVB President Sergei Troubetzkoy from Bedford.  


    The Virginia Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus is a not-for profit 501(c)(6) membership organization made up of destination marketing organizations, visitor bureaus, and the companies that support them.  Since it started in 1978, the organization has been promoting professionalism within the Virginia tourism industry and has worked on behalf of its members to make sure that tourism and travel continue to be strong economic drivers in the Commonwealth’s economy.  For more information about VACVB please visit or contact the organization at +1 540 904-4710.

  • 16 May 2012 10:10 AM | Brian Gorg (Administrator)

    In an important step for our industry, the Obama Administration has announced the first-ever National Travel and Tourism Strategy. The strategy elevates the travel industry as a national priority, and recognizes travel for its fundamental contribution to our economy...
    Read More Here from the USTA


  • 01 Sep 2011 10:47 AM | Anonymous

    Be Visible - 2012 Consumer Outreach Marketing Program, managed by the Shenandoah Valley Travel Association, still has space available. Last year, over one and half million people visited the shows and over 21,000 Virginia Travel Guides along with CVB and attraction brochures were distributed. The program was a sell out last year, so please act now to secure your space.

    Click here for more information or to view the 22 shows selected for 2011-2012. Ready to sign up? Download the 2012 participation form (DOC) today.

    What is the COMP Program?

    • Virginia booth at national
    • 1.6+  million attendance at shows along the eastern seaboard
    • Over 21,000 Virginia Travel Guides & partner brochures distributed
    • Award-Winning booth designs that engage show attendees
    • Travel industry participants can volunteer to work the shows

    Consumer Outreach Marketing Program

    • COMPliments that marketing of our travel industry partners...
    • Outdoes the COMPetition...
    • Through COMP, we deliver one unified tourism destination voice!  

    Questions Please Contact:

  • 14 Jul 2011 10:23 AM | Anonymous

    Online travel agencies lost a major case in Texas earlier this month and, after poring over the judge’s findings, at least one hotel distribution consultant says the ruling will set a precedent in how municipalities collect tax on hotel rooms sold through online merchant models.

    Click here to read to the full news article.

  • 07 Jul 2011 10:18 AM | Anonymous

    Kevin Costello developed a thriving tourism plan for the county.

    Botetourt County Tourism Coordinator, Kevin Costello, has resigned his position to assume the duties of Executive Director of the Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau, starting August 1.

    In five years, Costello built a tourism program for Botetourt from scratch. The Wine Trail, Downtowns of Botetourt, and the Upper James River Water Trail were notable accomplishments. The first event of the Wine Trail Summer Concert series he created attracted 900 people. He developed an award-winning website and brought more than $200,000 in grant money to support his projects.

    He built working partnerships with local organizations, serving on the boards or as an officer in such groups as: the Roanoke Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Shenandoah Valley Travel Association, Southeast Tourism Society, Wilderness Road, Fish Virginia First and numerous others.
    Costello feels the new position is an opportunity to move forward with his personal tourism career plan. He will oversee a staff of seven, manage a larger budget, and will support the local visitor center. Working for the Town of Abingdon, he will market special events such as the Highland Festival, the Heartwood Artisan Center and the Barter Theater.

    Botetourt County staff has initiated a search for Costello’s replacement. The County Administrator hopes to have a new Tourism Coordinator on board in August.

    For more information, contact

    Gerald A. Burgess, County Administrator
    (540) 473-8223

    Richard “Pete” Peters, Director of Parks, Recreation and Tourism
    (540) 473-8326

  • 15 Nov 2010 10:14 AM | Anonymous

    RICHMOND – Virginia bucked a national trend and posted a 16 percent increase in visits from overseas travelers in 2009, despite the recession and an overall decrease in international visitors nationally.  Data from a recent U.S. Department of Commerce report showed that Virginia posted the greatest percentage increase for international visitors amongst the states and territories surveyed.

    The news comes from the 2009 Overseas Visitation to U.S. States, Cities and Traveler Characteristics Data report, detailing how various destinations fared and which origin markets and characteristics contributed to those results. Of the 20 states/territories for which estimates are available, double-digit declines were suffered by 10 states. Virginia visitation increased by 16 percent, leading growth among the six states posting growth in 2009.   International visits to Virginia grew from 329,000 in 2008 to 380,000 in 2009.  Virginia moved up from 18 to 14 in ranking for overseas visitors to U.S. states.

    “This is tremendous news for Virginia. Even in a difficult economy, individuals from across the world are seeking out Virginia for business and vacation.” said Governor Bob McDonnell.  “Our commitment to expanding resources for tourism and aggressively marketing Virginia overseas will help us further capitalize on this growth and increase the revenue generated by visitors to our state. The more visitors we welcome, the more jobs we create and the quicker our economy will rebound.  By taking proactive steps, such as opening new trade offices in Great Britain, China and India in the year ahead, we will build on this positive development.”

    Virginia markets to international travelers through Capital Region USA, a partnership between Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Maryland.  The alliance encourages travelers coming into the nation’s Capitol to visit surrounding areas including Virginia.  Dulles International Airport is located in Virginia.  This major international hub serves 47 international destinations with 443 weekly arrivals.

    “Virginia is reaping the benefits of Dulles International Airport and our proximity to the nation’s Capitol,” said Alisa Bailey, President and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation.  “International travelers stay longer and spend more money per trip, helping to increase revenues through tourism for Virginia.”

    Tourism is one of Virginia’s most powerful industries – generating $19.2 billion in revenue, supporting 210,000 jobs and providing $1.28 billion in state and local taxes.

    The international visitation report from the U.S. Department of Commerce is available online.

    For more information about travel in Virginia, visit or call 1-800-VISITVA to request a free, Virginia is for Lovers travel guide.


  • 15 Nov 2010 10:11 AM | Anonymous

    RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell announced today a comprehensive plan to reduce the costs associated with reopening Virginia’s previously closed rest areas and raise new revenues in the process.

    Commenting on his cost-saving strategy, Governor McDonnell noted, “With more than 30 million visitors passing through these rest areas each year, they are critical assets of the Commonwealth for safety, economic development and tourism. Within 10 days of taking office, I directed the Virginia Department of Transportation to reopen all 19 rest areas and welcome centers that were closed in July 2009.  As I promised during the campaign, this was accomplished by April 15th, and work is now under way to implement long-term solutions that will make running these rest areas more cost effective. The goal of this initiative is to off-set the costs of reopening the 19 safety rest areas, thus saving more of our taxpayer’s hard earned dollars.”

    The Governor is directing the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to work in partnership with other agencies, localities, and interstate business communities to cut costs and to raise new revenues using these four strategies:

    1. Contracted Maintenance Cost Reductions
    Reduce contracting costs at 38 rest areas and welcome centers where existing maintenance and operations contracts are scheduled to expire in December 2010 by working with potential contractors to address rest area needs while cutting the costs of maintenance activities

    2. Enhanced Sponsorship Program
    Bundle interstate recognition signage, interior advertising space and vending to attract private sponsors for the existing rest areas and welcome centers.

    3. Regional Tourism and Welcome Center Partnership
    Use transportation enhancement grants to further tourism outreach through the establishment of partnerships between tourism entities along Virginia’s interstates. These grants will be used to develop scenic/historic highway programs such as locating commercial regional tourist/welcome centers at interchanges

    4. Safety Rest Area and Welcome Center Innovation Research Program
    In this year’s session, the General Assembly passed House Joint Resolution No. 126,  requesting that the Virginia Transportation Research Council study alternatives to the public funding and operation of all or portions of the Commonwealth's interstate safety rest areas. The study will distinguish funding options that are possible within current state and federal law governing interstate highways in Virginia from those options that would become viable if specific sections of federal code were amended. This research is scheduled to be completed by Nov. 30, 2010 with the goal of recommending viable funding innovations to the safety rest area program.

    As VDOT begins implementing these initiatives, it will continue to work with both the public and private sector to develop other ideas to generate new revenues and create greater efficiencies throughout the program.

    Secretary of Transportation Sean T. Connaughton added, “Initiating these strategies now is critical to begin offsetting program costs as soon as possible.  We continue to look forward to the results of the legislative study currently being carried out by the Virginia Transportation Research Council, and VDOT welcomes any additional ideas from the public and the private sectors to provide these critical customer services more efficiently.”

    VDOT will schedule meetings with the appropriate federal, state and local officials, as well as the private sector, in the next few months to further explore these three initiatives. Governor McDonnell has set VDOT’s goal of implementing the new contracts and sponsorship strategies before the end of 2010 and making the tourism partnership and any other proposals available in 2011.

    Learn more about Virginia Rest Areas

  • 15 Oct 2010 10:09 AM | Anonymous
    Read the latest news about Jefferson County refusing to toss a suit against online travel companies.
  • 01 Oct 2010 10:08 AM | Anonymous

    VACVB has asked our Allied Members to provide updates, announcements and publication deadlines for publication in a monthly newsletter that members will receive.  Keep an eye out for great deals and news.

  • 30 Sep 2010 10:06 AM | Anonymous
    The Loudoun Convention and Visitors Association (LCVA) announced that they are the recipient of the National Council of Destination Organizations Destiny Award for a single, targeted promotion.  The award was given in recognition of the “Loudoun, Virginia:  DC’s Wine Country® Washington Redskins Promotion.”  The LCVA received their award September 1st during the closing ceremony at the U.S. Travel Association’s annual Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) in Reno/Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
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