~ Pride festival information, updated merchandise, LGBTQ-friendly listings and more available on virginia.org ~
RICHMOND – Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) is updating its current Virginia is for Lovers Pride Heart logo and adopting the Progress Pride Flag design that represents different identities within the broader queer community. VTC introduced the Virginia is for Lovers Pride logo in 2016, with the traditional red heart being replaced with a rainbow heart, during the launch of the LGBTQ+ webpage on virginia.org, connecting visitors with LGBTQ-friendly lodging, dining and experiences.
The original Rainbow Pride Flag was introduced as an international symbol of pride and support for LGBTQ+ people and the queer community. The Progress Pride Heart design features a background of the six original colors of the Rainbow Pride Flag and a horizontal-pointing arrow of five half-sized stripes, which represent trans people (light blue, light pink, and white), as well as marginalized people of color (brown and black) and people living with AIDS, those passed, and the stigma surrounding AIDS.
This design better acknowledges both the wide range of people and cultures that make up Virginia’s tourism industry from the business owners and communities to the purveyors of the arts, food, beverages, music, and culture. It also more accurately represents the travelers that come to Virginia to explore the history, outdoors, restaurants, pride festivals and events, and their favorite queer-centric attractions.
Virginia’s 2021 June Pride Month is celebrating 11 pro-equality bills signed into law, including protections for LGBTQ+ people. Paired with the passing of the Virginia Values Act in 2020, the first southern state to do so, Virginia is now offering new levels of welcome and safety for LGBTQ+ visitors.
Pride festivals in Virginia will be taking place all summer and into the fall. LGBTQ+ travelers and their families can visit the LGBTQ+ page on virginia.org to discover listings around the Commonwealth that highlight lodging, restaurants, retail stores, and other attractions that have designated themselves as LGBTQ-friendly and welcoming. The landing page also features places for LGBTQ+ couples to get married or honeymoon, as well as family-friendly destinations.
VTC will also be offering Virginia is for Lovers merchandise including t-shirts, hats, and bandanas with the updated Progress Pride Heart logo beginning June 1 at thevastore.com.
“Virginia is proud to be an open and welcoming destination for every visitor wanting to experience our scenic mountains and beaches, as well as our world-renowned restaurants and attractions,” said Rita McClenny, President and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “A vacation in Virginia is all about doing the things you love to do with the ones that you love, and that includes the LGBTQ+ community, their friends, and their families.”
Tourism is an instant revenue generator in Virginia. LGBTQ+ travelers are an important market for tourism in Virginia and make up nearly 2% of the U.S. market. LGBTQ+ travelers in Virginia stay longer compared to all travelers in Virginia. In 2018, U.S. LGBTQ+ travelers spent an estimated $63.1 billion on domestic and international travel. On average, 6% of travelers to Virginia identify as LGBTQ+.
Visit virginia.org for more information.
About Virginia Tourism Corporation
Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency charged with marketing the Commonwealth as a premier travel and film destination. In 2019, visitors to Virginia spent $27 billion, which supported 237,000 work opportunities and contributed $1.8 billion in state and local taxes. To learn more, visit virginia.org