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Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau

December 8, 2023 

Dear Valued Tourism Partners, 

It was a thrill to see thousands of smiling faces this past weekend as more holiday festivities got underway across the City. Friday evening, guests and residents were shoulder-to-shoulder at Town Center as Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived for the Grand Illumination. At the Oceanfront, Atlantic Avenue came alive on Saturday evening with more than 100 units representing the 2023 Holiday Parade at the Beach. With so many different ways to celebrate this very special time of the year, I hope you’ll get an opportunity to take in some of the fun. 

VB Sales Activity and News: The CVB team supports the bureau’s strategic pillars of Engagement, Growth, Brand Development, Culture, and Accountability.  

This week, the M&C Sales and Services team is actively engaging in sales and brand awareness. Jamie Rawls sponsored an educational seminar for the Virginia Society of Association Executives’ Northern Virginia chapter, followed by a luncheon for guests from various national and state associations. Dee Mittman is attending the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners’ annual event in Atlanta, GA.  While there, she is partnering with fellow Virginia DMOs in sponsoring a 360 Photo Booth during the association’s 40th Anniversary Celebration Gala.  

The VBCC welcomed the Urban League’s Holiday Toy Drive and two command parties this week and hosted the City’s Service Awards yesterday. Also, the Events Team has been busy this week planning for 2024.

Erin Goldmeier attended the U.S. Travel Association’s (USTA) Communications Advisory Committee Meeting in D.C. Members heard an overview of USTA’s key priorities and projects for 2024 from Tori Emerson Barnes, USTA’s EVP of Public Affairs & Policy.

Other key takeaways:

  • Group discussion with Izzy Klein, former communications director for Senator Chuck Schumer and founder of Klein Johnson Group. Klein shared his perspective on legislative branch engagement and Capitol Hill communications.
  • Presentation and discussion with Sarah Firshein, head of editorial at TripAdvisor and former New York Times travel columnist
  • Tracy Hooper, founder of the Confidence Project, shared her most popular program, Words to LOSE – Words to USE

In addition, we’re pleased to share the following examples of recent press coverage:

In more brand development news, Virginia Beach was featured along with Capital Region USA (CRUSA) at a recent consumer show, the CRD Travel Show, in Hamburg, Germany.  A large tour operator, CRD hosted the event for their clients and the public to showcase “Nordamerikatage” - North American destinations. Consumers were engaged and very eager to travel again to the USA. The Virginia Beach CVB featured a prize package for a six-night stay at The Moxy. Our representative, Maria with Claasen Communications, commented that CRUSA and Virginia Beach were quite popular, and many who have been to Virginia Beach stated that they are planning to return. Here’s to future growth in this very important market  segment. 

The image below is from our friends at Dulles International Airport highlighting a Virginia Tourism Corporation marketing display at the airport which has become a popular photo opp and selfie spot. What a beautiful, welcoming view! 

Also this week, we’re excited to share several social media posts fostering engagement by promoting Virginia Beach events to our European audiences:

In Sports Tourism news, this weekend the Virginia Beach Sports Center is set to host two major events, showcasing the talents of over 3,000 young athletes. Kicking off the action will be the 2023 VACW National Holiday Duals, a prestigious wrestling tournament that will bring together over 1,000 wrestlers from various places. These athletes will demonstrate skill, strength, and sportsmanship in a series of competitive matches. Concurrently, the Sports Center will also be buzzing with the energy of the 2023 Indoor Track & Field High School Opener. This event is expected to draw in more than 2,000 high school track and field athletes, who will compete in various events showcasing their speed, agility, and endurance. Together, these events promise a weekend filled with athletic excellence, making Virginia Beach a hub of youth sports activity. 

3rd Annual Virginia Beach Gingerbread House Competition and Exhibit Presented by the Virginia Beach Restaurant Association in partnership with Coastal Virginia magazine and the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum – Viewing and voting is now open for the 3rd Annual Virginia Beach Gingerbread House Competition and Exhibit. Entries will be on display at The Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum located inside the historic de Witt Cottage, 1113 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, through December 30, 2023.  Voting ends December 23. More information may be found by clicking here

Bon Secours Presents The 2023 BayPort Credit Union Surf N Santa 5 Miler & Rudolph’s 1K - Experience the magic of the season with a run through the holiday lights on the Boardwalk before you celebrate your run at the indoor post-race party. Grab your race swag at the Convention Center during packet pickup on Friday, Dec. 15 between 4 and 7 pm or Saturday, Dec. 16 between 2 and 4 pm. After picking up your race packet, shop the store for some awesome race swag to commemorate your holiday weekend in Virginia Beach!  For registration, race schedules and all the details, click here. Please note that there will be temporary traffic impacts; see the Road Closure Notice here

The 2023 BayPort Credit Union Holiday Lights at the Beach, presented by Food Lion - Experience this beloved holiday tradition of new displays, two additional blocks of lights, and a fantastic new 600 ft. LED tunnel. Jumping fish, musical crabs, and jolly elves dance in lights against the backdrop of the moonlit Atlantic Ocean. Highlighted by a Surfing Santa, color-changing archways, and light fixtures that pay tribute to the region’s Armed Forces community, the 2023 BayPort Credit Union Holiday Lights at the Beach offers wondrous fun for the entire family. Find ticket information and learn what to know before you go here.


To view the Resort area entertainment schedule, click hereFor easy access to all of Town Center’s events and activities, click here

My team and I are committed to you and our industry and are here to help any way that we can. Please let me know how we can assist you.

Nancy Helman 
CVB Director

CVB Strategic Pillars:

Engagement|Growth|Brand Development|Culture|Accountability









Hotel Occupancy Data for the Week of November 19 - 25: Virginia Beach’s hotel occupancy rate for the week of November 19 – 25 was down -5.6% at 39.3% occupancy and down -5.6% for the running 28-day trend. ADR was up 1.1% at $103.72 and up 1.0% for the running 28-day trend. RevPAR was down -4.5% at $40.77 and down -4.6% for the running 28-day trend.


To view previous Friday updates, visit the CVB Partner Blog.

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Our address is 600 22nd Street, 2nd Floor, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

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