"Virginia is for Families" tourism campaign

By Matt Butner - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Would the Commonwealth ever change its slogan "Virginia is for Lovers?"

Probably not, but it's launching a new vacation promotion Wednesday. It will feature a lot of people saying "Virginia is for Families."

Alisa Bailey is the President and CEO of the VIrginia Tourism Corporation, the agency responsible for promoting tourism in the Commonwealth.  She led the unveiling of the new slogan at the Science Museum in Richmond.

"We did some research during this recession that indicates that young families in our target markets on the east coast spend 50% more on a family vacation than the regular traveler," she said.

The campaign aims to entice those families, and their dollars, with a vacation package sweepstakes.  Grand prize winners will enjoy an all-inclusive trip to the Old Dominion for a family of four.  Each trip features an itinerary in a different part of the state.  The Richmond area is one of them.

"They're going to King's Dominion, going to the Science Museum, and there's 40 other attractions that they'll have the menu of selecting on their trip," said Jack Berry, president of the Metro Richmond Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

Berry says Richmond's location at a crossroads of major interstates makes it an ideal destination.

"We're a drive market, we're very affordable, we're very authentic, so it's kind of an all-in-one package," said Berry.

At the root of the fun highlighted in the campaign are some serious economic challenges statewide.  Tourism officials point out that their industry provides two things that are sorely needed- jobs and tax revenue.

"We employ 210,000 Virginians in our industry, and we bring in 1.28 billion dollars in state and local taxes," said Bailey.

Tourism leaders hope those numbers will grow along with the number of families visiting Virginia.

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