Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau

BACKGROUND

While competing cities added convention center headquarters hotels and inviting entertainment districts to round out the product offerings, Virginia Beach has paced slower in this area. The result is the destination has had to find creative ways to expand its leisure market, diversify its marketing message (in order to generate new demand, thus driving up average daily rate), and to subsequently contribute to the financial success of the City of Virginia Beach.

CHALLENGE

  • Ensure growth in tax revenue without the benefit of additional product.
  • Diversify the marketing message to drive overnight visitation in key leisure, group, conventions, meetings and sports market segments.

INSIGHT

While Virginia Beach aggressively tracks visitor demographics year round, new research focused on prospective visitors revealed something new – a misguided perception that Virginia Beach is a sleepy costal town that only comes alive in the summer time, specifically in the three-mile section of the resort area. People that hadn’t recently visited Virginia Beach had no idea of how the city continues to evolve.

By uncovering the unique selling propositions of key market segments (with special emphasis on programs designed to drive visitation and revenue in the spring, fall and winter) we discovered significant new opportunities for growth – ensuring that we can continue to grow tax revenue for the city while new tourism product offerings are vetted.

RESULT

65% of room nights occupied occurs between September and May

  • Over the past five years, ADR has risen 9% in the spring and 6.7% in the fall
  • First time visitation has been the reached a five-year high at 26%
  • Lodging Tax Revenue is up 17% since 2009
  • Average per party spending in the winter now exceeds that of the spring and is rapidly closing in on fall.