WILLIAMSBURG-As the summer travel season approaches, Visit Williamsburg is inviting tourists to experience “Life. At Your Pace.” while vacationing within the Historic Triangle.
Victoria Cimino, CEO of Visit Williamsburg, the area’s official tourism organization, gave business and community leaders an update on Visit Williamsburg’s marketing initiatives during the monthly meeting of the Williamsburg Business Roundtable on Thursday, May 12.
The goal of the organization, which was launched in 2018, is to increase overnight visitation to the region and ultimately generate more tax revenue. During the pandemic, Visit Williamsburg created the “Life. At Your Pace” advertising campaign as a way to promote Greater Williamsburg as a safe destination for travelers. Visit Williamsburg won an award for the campaign in 2021.
“People make travel decisions based on emotions,” Cimino said. “We are our best selves when we are on vacation. People want to go where they have a chance for regrounding. Williamsburg is the place to do just that.”
Three different television ads have been created that are geared toward three different types of travelers: those looking for culture, those who want to see and do, and those who want to relax and go at their leisure.
In addition to the region’s history, Visit Williamsburg is also hyping up Greater Williamsburg’s golf courses, outdoor recreation, and food and beverage scene thanks to partnerships with social media influencers and other media outlets, including National Geographic, Bon Appetit, and Conde Naste.
Ads have also been placed in subway stations and on kiosks in major cities including Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Cleveland, OH; and Boston, MA. Visit Williamsburg expanded its marketing to Boston for the first time in 2022.
So far, the initiatives seem to be working.
“2022 is outperforming 2019, and 2019 was the largest performing year for this area since 2007,” Cimino said. “It’s remarkable.”
Domestic leisure travel to Greater Williamsburg appears to have bounced back, but business travel and international leisure travel remain low. Cimino told those who attended the meeting, which was held virtually, that business travel isn’t expected to pick back up until 2024, while international travel will depend on covid-19 policies.
Visit Williamsburg typically starts its marketing push in February ahead of the summer season. The hope is to keep momentum going throughout the height of the tourist season into the fall and during the holidays.
“The goal is to keep living ‘Life. At Your Pace.’ moving throughout the year,” Cimino said. “There’s a lot of opportunity to have some fun in Williamsburg.”