RICHMOND – To kick off June Great Outdoors Month in Virginia, the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) announced the Virginia is for Outdoor Lovers campaign, an ongoing marketing effort to increase consumer awareness about Virginia’s diverse outdoor destinations and activities. Travelers can find outdoor travel inspiration with the following resources:
• 25 Trip Ideas for June Great Outdoors Month in Virginia.
• Virginia is for Outdoor Lovers website Virginia.org/outdoors.
• Outdoor blog posts consistently updated with useful travel inspiration.
• New Virginia is for Outdoor Lovers video series will be released on VTC’s social channels in coming months. To watch the first video on YouTube, click here.
• #VAOutdoors social media content. Join the conversation on Instagram and Twitter by following @VisitVirginia and Facebook and YouTube by following Virginia is for Lovers.
Virginia has a wide variety of outdoor attractions from the coast to the mountains, and VTC encourages industry partners statewide to promote their natural assets as a primary tourism lures. By mobilizing the Virginia tourism industry as a whole, VTC aims to amplify the message even faster to potential travelers nationwide, further positioning Virginia as a premier outdoor destination on the East Coast.
“The outdoors are second only to history in terms of attractions available to visitors. Our research shows that 17% of Virginia’s visitors come for outdoor recreation, which ranks second after visiting friends and family (34%). This is tied with entertainment and sightseeing (17%),” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of VTC.
Top outdoor travel lures in Virginia include visiting state and national parks, beaches, and ecotourism. The Blue Ridge Parkway, Appalachian Trail, Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park are among the top 25 Virginia attractions visited most frequently by travelers. Since Virginia is home to some of the premier outdoor tourism destinations in the country, it’s no surprise that outdoor recreation is a proven economic engine for Virginia communities.
According to the Outdoor Industry Association, at least 46% of Virginia residents participate in outdoor recreation each year. In Virginia, outdoor recreation generates $13.6 billion in consumer spending, 138, 000 direct Virginia jobs, $3.9 billion in wages and salaries, and $923 million in state and local tax revenue.
VTC recognizes the economic impact of outdoor recreation tourism and actively supports the industry through marketing, tourism development support, and grant resources. Virginia’s state tourism development plan, which was developed with stakeholder input and key research such as consumer data and trends, validated outdoor recreation development as a primary strategy for the Commonwealth. Through VTC’s Marketing Leverage Program, $911,320 was awarded for 53 grants to tourism entities in Virginia during the last two years with the purpose of promoting outdoor recreation. The grants were used to promote a cycling event, a marathon, birding festival, fishing, and national parks, to name a few.
More on Virginia outdoors:
Virginia’s abundant natural resources are the perfect backdrop for creating personal life experiences and lifelong memories in the outdoors. From the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to the majestic Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains, Virginia is a four-season destination with approachable outdoor activities for every skill level and interest. Home to a quarter of the famed Appalachian Trail and pristine wilderness areas like Shenandoah National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Mount Rogers Recreation Area, mountain lovers can enjoy endless activities. For beach and water lovers, Virginia holds nearly 1,000 square miles or surface water in its lakes, rivers and bays, 25,000 miles of rivers and streams alone. Throw in the multitude of activities available along Virginia’s beaches and there’s no doubt that Virginia is for Outdoor Lovers.
Go to virginia.org/vaoutdoors for outdoor travel inspiration. Join the conversation by using #VAOutdoors and stay connected with Virginia on Instagram and Twitter at @VisitVirginia and Facebook and YouTube at Virginia is for Lovers.