WILLIAMSBURG — The Williamsburg Tourism Council is prepared to welcome spring and summer tourists to the area as the warmer 2022 seasons approach.
The most recent tourism council meeting was held on March 15 at The Maine of Williamsburg. The pristine local venue is set to host around 70 weddings this year and this includes hosting international visitors from London, Denmark, and Singapore.
On the agenda for the meeting was the Treasurer’s Report which included the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) Audit report.
There was also an Executive Director and CEO Report that featured a presentation on travel research, Fall/Winter Ad effectiveness, and additional information on marketing and public relations programs.
According to the presentation, the top origin markets for overnight visitors are:
- Washington, DC (Hagerstown, MD)
- Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, VA
- Richmond-Petersburg, VA
- New York, NY
- Releigh-Durham (Fayetteville), NC
- Baltimore, MD
- Roanoke-Lynchburg, VA
- Philadelphia, PA
- Greenville-New Bern-Washington, NC
- Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York, PA
- Charlotte, NC
Visit Williamsburg is the major marketing organization that helps promote Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown, Virginia. The organization is led by its Executive Director and CEO Victoria Cimino.
Cimino highlighted some of the efforts that the organization has made to help promote tourism in the area for 2022.
For example, Visit Williamsburg has partnered with two publications:
- “Golf Magazine”: The Golf.com partnership is to help attract visitors to the various golf offerings located in the region. The partnership includes 3 articles and 2 videos.
- “Bon Appetit”: This partnership was formed to highlight the culinary scene in the Historic Triangle. Recently, New York City-based food critique Ben Hon visited Greater Williamsburg to try some dishes and drinks at the following restaurants: Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters, Rockefeller Room at Williamsburg Inn, Culture Café, Alewerks Brewing Company, Pierce’s Pitt Bar-B-Que, and Amber Ox Public House.
Additionally, the marketing organization continues one of its goals to work with social media influencers. Recently, Visit Williamsburg has started to work with TikTok content creators and influencers to help share information about locations around the Historic Triangle.
The presentation also highlighted the fact that one of the ad campaigns entitled “Life. At Your Pace.” has won Visit Williamsburg the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) 2021 Silver Adrian Award. This is an industry award that recognizes excellence in hospitality advertising, digital marketing, and public relations.
The council lastly reviewed its research objectives in a presentation by SMARInsights President David Seiferth.
A total of 2005 surveys were completed and data was collected from Baltimore, Charlotte, Charlottesville, Greenville NC, Harrisonburg, Philadelphia, Raleigh, Roanoke, Salisbury, DC, Cleveland, Columbus, and Boston.
Some of the research was related to tracking COVID-19’s impact on consumer perception and travel behaviors.
The research showed that in Late July/early August 2020, 56 percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement, “The thought of traveling scares me right now.” However, in late Jan. 2022, only 29 percent of those surveyed still agree with that statement.
Despite the Omicron variant, the percentage of consumers ready to plan leisure travel has grown since September/October. Of those surveyed, 72 percent said they are ready to plan leisure travel.
The council expects to see an increase in both hotel and flight bookings among those exposed to digital advertising.
Spring break arrives with the month of April, and it’s looking like the area is well-positioned for the increase in tourism.
For more information, please visit the website for the Williamsburg Tourism Council.