March 5, 2021
Dear Valued Tourism Industry Partners,
I know you’ll agree that good news about travel has been a long time coming, however, I'm thrilled to share some incredibly encouraging data this week. This news, in addition to the start of daylight savings time in 10 short days, I feel more optimistic than ever. There IS a light at the end of the tunnel and it couldn’t come at a more perfect time for Virginia Beach!
The following data is shared courtesy of Destination Analysts, a research firm that has been tracking and publishing key consumer perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors through unbiased, expert-designed research, to help the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries form strategy and communicate through the COVID-19 crisis. As an independent, third-party research company, Destination Analysts is regarded as a trusted resource in the travel industry.
Some of the more encouraging data, collected from February 26th to 28th, which is critical to our recovery, is listed below:
- COVID-19 anxiety is at a low and Americans are feeling safer, both at home and with travel.
- Over 60% of American travelers did travel dreaming and/or planning in the last week alone; a pandemic record 63.9% of Americans are in a travel readiness state-of-mind. Americans remain highly open to travel inspiration.
- 12.4% of American travelers said they have a Spring Break trip planned.
- Trips and travel plan numbers keep growing, including 15.1% who made travel reservations.
- A growing percentage of American travelers say they will be taking at least one leisure trip in the next three months—now at 54.6%. More than 84% already have tentative trip plans for the remainder of 2021, with June through October the peak months for trips.
- Beach destinations are, of course, popular, as are National Parks and rural areas.
For more from Destination Analysts, click here.
Partners, this is the news we have waited for since last spring so it’s exciting to see more than 80 listings already up on our VB Smarter Pledge page. Please, if you haven’t done so already, register as now is the time to show travel-ready visitors that we’ve increased health & safety protocols to make visiting our coastal city enjoyable and comfortable. Pledging to VB Smarter in 2021 by adhering to set protocols without compromise is Virginia Beach’s way to shine a light on our collective commitment to ensuring a safe, fun, and relaxing visit for all.
Just in time for this new data and the VB Smarter program, we’re happy to announce the roll-out of our $4 million spring and summer campaign, which we successfully launched earlier this week. Running through the end of June in key markets across the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest and aimed at driving domestic leisure overnight visitation, the campaign will loudly communicate to travelers that Virginia Beach is open, and this year, we are celebrating families!
This message will reach visitors through a variety of touchpoints across their travel planning journey through tactics like broadcast and cable television, select print publications, and targeted digital placements. This strategic media mix allows us to connect with a wide audience of travelers while also closely targeting those most likely to book a vacation to our destination.
However, for us to succeed in this critically important effort, we need the help of you, our valued tourism and hospitality partners! We strongly encourage you to join us in developing creative offerings that will enhance the visitor experience and ensure Virginia Beach wins with families this year. Please check our campaign toolkit for ways to get involved and access a number of free resources.
And last but definitely not least, March is Restaurant Month in our city. Sign up for the Dine Pass and visit participating venues for discounts and perhaps you’ll win a prize in the "Eat, Drink & Win!" sweepstakes.
It is vital that we continue to stand together and support each other as we move into recovery. Please let me know how my team and I can assist you.
CVB Interim Director