Tourism in Virginia

Tourism in Virginia

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16:03:41 Perfect. So thank you for joining us  today. My name is Savannah Amor Kappeler and   I chair our Transportation You program  for the Central Virginia chapter of the   women's transportation seminar. 16:03:52 This program works to   make a difference in the lives  of young girls to spark their   interest in programs and activities. 16:03:58 That entertain all modes of   transportation and encourage them to take courses  in math, science, and technology. Which are the  

stepping stones to exciting careers that can  change the face of the transportation industry.  16:04:11 Our webinar today will discuss tourism  in Virginia in honor of national tourism week.   And we are joined today by Summer Holiday. 16:04:21 And Patriksha Bhattarai. And they both   will be speaking on the Natural Bridge State Park. 16:04:31 As well as Virginia Tourism Corporation.  

So just to cover our agenda for the day. A  brief overview will begin with our house rules.  16:04:42 And then we'll be followed by  our presentation with Summer. Followed   by a QA session. And then our next  presentation will be with Pratiksha.  16:04:51 Followed by another Q&A  session. And after both presentations,   we will raffle off a $25 gift card. 16:04:59 As a thank you for attending,  

prior to our closing remarks. 16:05:05 So just to go over our house rules really   quickly for the webinar. Before we get started,  please remain muted throughout the webinar.  16:05:14 If you have any questions, please  pose them in the chat box. Using the banner  

at the top or bottom of your screen. 16:05:22 And if you have any issues,   you can message myself directly, the  moderator. In the chat box and I will do   my best to help you navigate through any issues. 16:05:32 Captions have been enabled, so if you   choose to have them. On your screen. You can  select it in using your settings at the bottom.  16:05:43 And then this session is recorded  and will be posted on our chapter YouTube   page. And all of our pre recorded webinars  are also included on the YouTube page.  16:05:53 And lastly, please type your  name and your school or organization in   the chat. So we know who is joining us today. 16:06:08 Okay. Today for our presentation,  

as I mentioned, will be talking  about tourism in Virginia. 1st up,   I wanted to introduce Summer Holiday. 16:06:21 Summer is entering her 3rd   year with the Natural Bridge State  Park and is an interpretative ranger.  16:06:28 And has been since March, 2022.  She is originally from Florida and moved   to Virginia in August of 2,021. 16:06:36 And the natural bridge   state park was actually one of the 1st  places summer visited. When she moved to  

Virginia and she instantly fell in love. 16:06:44 Luckily, a position opened up   shortly after her visit at the  park. And the rest is history.  16:06:50 And also today we are  joined with Pratiksha. Who joined   the Virginia Tourism Corporation in 2017. 16:06:59 As the senior research manager.  

She manages, evaluates, and executes  the core programs. Of the VTC research   department and provides research support. 16:07:09 To VTC team members across all   departments. Before her 10 year at VTC. She  worked in a Kentucky based market research   firm analyzing data relating to customer  interactions and employee perception.  16:07:22 Pratiksha holds a master's degree  in urban planning from the University of   Louisville. And has a background in architecture. 16:07:29 She lives in return with her husband,   2 kids, and a cherished Labrador. Thank you  again to both of you for joining us today. 

16:07:38 And we're excited to hear more.  About your presentations. Summer, I'll let   you go ahead and start 16:07:47 Very much. Here.  16:07:54 Okay. 16:07:59 That's showing   for everybody everybody can see. 16:08:02 It is perfect.  16:08:03 Alright. Well,  hello everybody. My name is,   summer holiday and I'm an interpretative ranger  at National Bridge State Park here in Virginia. 

16:08:13 A lot of times when people see that  position title, they ask me what language I speak.   You know, what kind of language am I interpreting? 16:08:24 In our case, just like the lorax,   we speak for the trees. So for the natural  areas in our park that can't speak for   themselves, we can't tell their story. 16:08:36 And the goal is to have visitors  

leave with stories about our  natural and cultural history,   but the ultimate goal of Maybe they'll want to  come back with their families in the future.  16:08:49 Maybe they're looking to look  at into more natural areas near their   homes if they don't live near here. 16:08:55 And really the ultimate   ultimate goal is to get people involved in  conservation, whether that be with our Park   or within natural areas near to them. 16:09:09 That's the ultimate goal.   And in our position, we get to talk  to a lot of people about where they're   visiting from and why they're here. 16:09:17 So. Good question. Why do  

people visit Natural State Park? Most of  our visitors are here to visit the park   to see one thing, the natural bridge. 16:09:29 And it makes sense, you know,   it's in our name not to Virginia Park.  It's also where our county name comes from.  16:09:35 Rockbridge County. The natural  bridge was included in a lot of natural   wonders of the world lists. 16:09:43 And it's right off of   81 with a lot of signs for the state park  directing you straight to the state park.  16:09:51 It's also right off of the Blue  Ridge Parkway. So it just makes sense.  

People are here to see the natural bridge. 16:09:57 Now, what, what is the natural   bridge? The natural bridge itself is 200  feet tall, which is taller than Niagara   Falls and actually taller also than the Statue of  Liberty if she were to step off of her pedestal.  16:10:13 So pretty astonishingly  tall. It also weighs 36,000 tons,   which is equivalent to 2,500 school buses. 16:10:23 And the limestone that it encompasses   that encompasses the national  bridge is 500 million years old,   which is even older than the dinosaurs. 16:10:32 So all of these are just fun little facts  

that are included in a lot of our field trips with  kids that are visiting from all over the country.  16:10:41 And a lot of, you know, people start to  wonder, how does this? Geological marvel, this   natural wonder, how did it become a state park? 16:10:52 Well, it actually dates back to 1774   when Thomas Jefferson purchased the the land.  And you can even go a little bit further back   to 1767 when he 1st visited the park. 16:11:07 Now he was actually on top of   the natural bridge when he visited the park  and even though he was scared of heights. 

16:11:13 He still appreciated and saw  the potential for that. That space   to be enjoyed by, many in the future. 16:11:22 So he decided to purchase it   from King George the 3rd in 1774 to  preserve it for future generations.  16:11:30 And this was during a time when no one  really wanted to land because it wasn't farmable. 

16:11:38 In that time, if it wasn't  farmable, it wasn't valuable.   But Thomas Jefferson saw past that and we  have him to thank for us being here today.  16:11:44 After a Jefferson passed  It was privately owned up until 2013   when the land was put up for auction. 16:11:53 Public auction and Virginia   Conservation Legacy Fund luckily scooped  it up and purchased it with the intention   of eventually turning it over to state parks. 16:12:05 State parks began management in 2016.   And then since 2016 we've been working off of  we've been working on paying off that loan and   officially as of last year we have paid it  off in full so natural wood state park is   officially state-owned which is Very exciting. 16:12:23 That means that, a lot of changes and  

improvements can happen a lot easier for us. And  one of those changes involves, rerouting route 11.  16:12:34 Now, Route 11 currently goes  over the natural bridge. Absolutely after   becoming managed by the by Virginia State Parks, 16:12:45 VDOT came and 2017 to do a few tests. And   with those tests they determine that no data have  emerged indicating the road is unsafe for traffic,   which is great news because the rerouting  of a road that 2,000 commuter commuters and   travelers use every single day is no easy feat. 16:13:05 However, now that the bridge is owned   by owned and managed by Virginia State Parks, 16:13:13 VDOT and Virginia State Parks are   working together to hopefully reroute that in the  future. And looking at this picture in particular,   you might start to wonder how on  earth does the natural bridge happen?  16:13:27 How did it come to be? What made the  natural bridge and how is it able to support all   of these cars driving over it every day? 16:13:35 Great question and it all   goes back to Cedar Creek. So in our park, you  won't find a trail called Natural Bridge Trail. 

16:13:46 We only have Cedar Creek Trail and  that's because Cedar Creek is responsible   for making the natural bridge. 16:13:54 Early long time ago,   Cedar Creek was an underground river and it  found this really nice chunk of limestone.  16:14:00 It started to erode its way through  this limestone, making its way towards the   James River where the James River is now  and started to create a small little cave.  16:14:10 And over time that cave got deeper  and deeper as Cedar Creek continued to erode.   And eventually the roof of the cave couldn't  support its own way anymore and it collapsed. 

16:14:21 Leaving only the natural bridge so the  natural bridge is the remaining part of that   underground cave. And not only would we not  have the natural bridge without Cedar Creek,   we also wouldn't have the beautiful vegetation  and the wonderful wildlife that we have because   of how deep the Cedar Creek Gorges. 16:14:41 The walls of the gorge are   able to protect the ground from  harsh winds and harsh sunlight and   it's also a lot cooler and a lot more humid. 16:14:51 I'm at the bottom of the gorge than   it is, above gorge. And, this will allows a lot  of vegetation that wouldn't normally be able to   grow in this area to, thrive. 16:15:02 In one of those an   example of one of those One of the  vegetation is Northern White Cedar. 

16:15:11 Northern White Cedar  doesn't really occur naturally   in Virginia anymore, not since the Ice Age. 16:15:16 But there's a lot of. Specimens that   are over a hundred or hundreds of years  old that have been here and must still   like it here because of how nice and cool it is. 16:15:27 And it's also where Cedar Creek gets its   name and all those that you'll find down there. 16:15:31 Now along Cedar Creek Trail,   you'll find Salt Peter Cave or past the natural  bridge you'll find Salt Peter Cave lost river   both of both that were discovered when Jefferson  still owns the property and then lace falls as   the very end of Cedar Creek Trail and Lace Falls  itself marks the edge of Jefferson's property.  16:15:53 When he initially owned the  bridge. And Cedar Creek Trail is most  

definitely our most trafficked trail. 16:16:02 It's where people are, again,   people are here to see the bridge. So we  get a lot of people on this trail, but if   we just had one trail, we get a lot of people  on this trail. But if we just had one trail,   we wouldn't be a very good state park. 16:16:13 So we do have 3 other trails   available. My personal favorite is Skyline Trail.  Skyland Trail, is a really good spot to admire   the mountain range that surrounds our valley. 16:16:27 Mountain range. And From the parking lot,  

it's just a short hike up a hill. And then once  you press that hill, you turn around, you get   this beautiful view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 16:16:40 And then if you wish to continue on to   Jefferson Point, the view just expands,  you get to see even more of the Bluetooth   range, or Bluetooth, and range. 16:16:49 It's a really good spot  

to be at the sunset or at the sunrise.  And on your hike to Jefferson Point,   you might come across some, eastern bluebirds  or tree swallows that are nesting in any   one of the 10, nest boxes along Skyline Trail. 16:17:07 So Skyline Trail is popular for for the   views. It's also a lot of, families like to go to  the CDA, which is the children's discovery area.  16:17:19 They'll often visit that after.  Visiting the bridge to get some wiggles out,   maybe to have lunch at one of our picnic  tables and the children's discovery area   has places for kids to play music. 16:17:33 There's a rustic little   general store with tools to sort  of let your creativity go crazy. 

16:17:41 You can also use the views as maybe  inspiration on one of our chalkboards. It's   just a really good spot for families  and we do see a lot of folks using that.  16:17:52 Now Blue Ridge Trail is a longer  trail. More, more kind of what you think   about when you think of a State Park trail. 16:18:00 It's a really great spot to go in   the fall. Full colors. During that time of year  in our newest addition to Blue Ridge Trail is   the Thistle Ridge disc golf course. 16:18:14 This golf has become very  

very popular over the years I'm it might  have already been popular but I've been   noticed it's really been picking up. 16:18:22 And we see a lot of people   come to this disc golf course, even  people that haven't visited the natural   bridge and they are continuing to visit. 16:18:33 Afterwards it's we get a lot of   repeat folks that really like to play the disc  golf play disc golf, really enjoy that course. 

16:18:42 So that's been really cool to see  because it sort of, it combines people's favorite.  16:18:48 Sport with the park so hopefully  that creates that connection that was   maybe some locals that, create that  connection with the park for them.  16:19:00 And then book hill trail is another  really nice trail. It's about 2 miles round trip.  16:19:05 There is still part of it that  is privately owned. You have to use access   the trail using the caverns parking  lot, which is still privately owned. 

16:19:15 You have to use access the,  trail using the caverns parking lot,   which is still privately owned. 16:19:16 But it is a really nice   trail overall. And going back to Skyline Trail. 16:19:21 Skyline trails also where we do a lot   of our nighttime programs. As of April, 2021  we are in international dark sky park which  

is really awesome because then we're able  to be on the dark sky website which there's   a lot of people that are wanting to get  out at night and enjoy enjoy the stars.  16:19:43 If there's a meteor shower, they,  they want to find a spot that's easy to access,   for them to look at the sky. 16:19:51 And again, because   of our convenient location right off of ID  one and our. Plus being on this website has,   we get tons and tons of people from all over. 16:20:05 Regularly we have people drive over   3 hour just to visit us for our dark sky  programs. And those guided programs involve,   there's a range of led talks, ranger  led a guided tour of the night sky. 

16:20:21 We have telescopes up there that we find  stuff in and we are up on a hill a little bit   so we do offer wagon rides for those that might  have issues with that hill or just one sort of a,   easy way to get up to the observation point. 16:20:37 And those, those are again really   great programs. We have Our attendance  is, you know, anywhere from 60 to 80 on   any normal night and then sometimes a hundred  or more when there is a special event like a,   like a meteor shower or something of that nature. 16:20:54 And again, we, have people come from   all over and Our goal with these programs is to  encourage people to bring back the night and fight   like pollution from wherever they're coming from. 16:21:06 And it's really cool that we're able to  

spread that message far and wide. It's not  just concentrated towards our local area.  16:21:15 And then we're really excited. Starting  tomorrow for the 1st time. So, Skyline Trail will   be open 7 days a week and until 2 a. 16:21:26 M. Which is very exciting  

because before, before we didn't  really have a spot for people to be   because the park closed at desk. 16:21:36 So this allows people   to enjoy our dark sky park and. Be more  encouraged to again bring back the night.  16:21:45 And it doesn't need to be  on one of our guided program nights   which is usually just once or twice a month. 16:21:52 So this opens up the door for a lot   more visitors to enjoy our dark skies. And, with  the success of our Dark Sky programs, we've also   started to offer other night time programs. 16:22:04 Such as sunset hikes or lightning   bug tours. Excuse me. And we do fall hay rides  which are really popular And this brings in a lot  

of local folks that are looking for something  to do in the evenings with their families or.  16:22:23 A lot of the times we have people that  are looking for, something to do. While they're   staying in Lynchburg or Roanoke, excuse me. 16:22:39 So this is also increased our  

visitation beyond just the bridge and that's  the goal with a lot of these programs.  16:22:50 Now this is our attendance  within the past few years. You would   think that our attendance would have. 16:22:59 In 2020 with the pandemic but it  

didn't really. That didn't really happen and  it's probably because we're an outdoor park.  16:23:09 People are able to distance  themselves safely. But then the the   jump from 2020 to 2021 is just astounding. 16:23:15 You could sort of tell from these   numbers. How anxious people were to get back  outside and enjoy the great outdoors and.  16:23:24 I feel lucky that, we were  able to be there for a lot of people and   hopefully gave them some solace during it. 16:23:33 Otherwise, difficult time. So all   that being said. But we what we what we do with  especially my department and really just all  

State Park departments is we want people to  have enjoyable time no matter where they're   coming from or how far they've traveled. 16:23:53 We want to cater to everybody   and make it the most memorable  experience that they can have there.  16:24:01 So that's my presentation. Thank you all  so much for. Listen to me again. My name is Summer   Holiday and I'm from Natasha Bridge State Park. 16:24:16 Thank you. I appreciate that and at this   time if anyone has any questions.  Regarding summer's presentation. 

16:24:27 Feel free to enter them into the chat. 16:24:38 And if you think of a question as we're   moving along with the next presentation  by all means, we can still come back   and go ahead and cover those again. 16:24:48 We have one question from   Carolyn. How do you handle the big crowds?  Do you ever have to turn people away?  16:24:54 Good question because we during the  heat of the summer we have our parking lot is   full. Excuse me. We do have overflow parking  and already a huge parking lot to begin with.  16:25:08 So. Thankfully, we've never  run into the issue of having to turn   people away. But that is a good question. 16:25:15 We do get a lot of people. Okay. 

16:25:17 Awesome. And then I guess I certainly  had a follow up question. I saw because you   mentioned the International Dark Skies program. 16:25:28 What's the difference? I didn't realize   that is there a difference at like the state  level versus international for dark skies.  16:25:40 There's just one. 16:25:36 So I don't think that   they're international dark sky park is like the  standard on all of the dark sky parks that you   do see are typically registered with them. 16:25:50 Before we became a state park,   we did do some dark sky events. We just weren't  a Dark Sky Park quite yet, so, but yeah, that's,  

that is the standard and to be accredited with  them means that you're on their website and.  16:26:07 Like I said, that gets a lot of a  lot of people to us. From all over the state,   which is really, really special. 16:26:19 Okay, a pleasure. 

16:26:16 Awesome. Well, thank you  so much, and we appreciate it. And   as I see more questions come through, I'll  make sure to point them in your direction.  16:26:25 Sounds good. 16:26:25 Alright, and as I mentioned before,  

next step is Pratiksha Bhattarai. And she will  be talking about the Virginia transportation   corporate or Virginia tourism corporation. 16:26:38 Alright, can you all see my   screen? Hold on. Can you see my screen? 16:26:46 We see your screen, we're on the  

full. Slide deck. Yes. 16:26:54 Yes.  16:26:51 Do you see the slide deck, right? Okay,  awesome. So I'm gonna hit the slide show mode and.  16:27:00 Okay, I, yeah. Now I have. I have slides  so on so and you I won't be able to see you but   it's it should be okay let me know if you have any  issues with listening to me or anything like that.  16:27:21 We're good. 16:27:21 Alright, alright,   thank you, Summer, for having, sorry, thank you.  Nice to see, meet you, Summer, but thank you. 

16:27:30 Savannah for having me. I'm excited to  be here and I am from Virginia Tourism Corporation   and today I'll, you know, talk about, a little bit  of what our agency does and, and then share some   of the, overview of, tourism industry at large  for Virginia and what the impact looks like.  16:27:54 And then share some career  prospects. With VTC for you know   those who want to come work with us. 16:28:02 In future. So this is our   research team. As you can see, we  are small. It's just the 2 of us.  16:28:09 Dan is our VPF research and  strategy and I have been working with VTC   since 2017 almost 7 and a half years now. 16:28:21 Yeah but it's just we're small  

and we just do a lot of work internally  and externally and we just do a lot of   work internally and externally and I'll  share that with you as I move through  16:28:34 So I don't know if you have seen our  logo, Virginia is for lovers, that is our brand.  16:28:44 Version is essentially  a marketing agency and we promote   Virginia as a laser travel destination  to stimulate Virginia's economy and also   enhance the quality of life of all Virginians. 16:28:55 So VTC operates as 5 major divisions.   We have marketing team who work primarily  to build our brand and promote Virginia   as a laser destination to consumers. 16:29:08 Within the country and also   internationally. We have partnership marketing  team that works really closely with the localities  

and local tourism partners across the state. 16:29:18 We have representation and field   teams. In different parts of the state and they  work prior to build and empower communities,   they do a lot of advocacy work, they do industry  initiatives and also product development.  16:29:34 Along with our partners. And  like I said, I'm representing our research  

team. Our job is really like in 2 folds. 16:29:43 So one is to provide analytical   insights and data. Resources to our internal  team across VTC and then also to provide support   that are industry partners will need for with  data, insights and tools, you know, for them   to be successful in their own marketing efforts. 16:30:03 So some of these partners, we work with  

are very small and they have very tiny budgets  and they really rely on us for some of the key   data that they use in their marketing efforts. 16:30:18 So we we aim to really provide all   the support that they need and then the  next division we have is our film office.  16:30:27 Our film office works to  bring in film projects. Series,   like connecting all these different motion picture  projects with various locations in Virginia.  16:30:38 And film in tourism really have a  large impact in Virginia's tourism industry   and also economy overall because you know when  we think about this film crew series crew they're   coming to our localities and they're staying  there for extended period of time, you know,   they are spending money in lodging their spending  money when they eat or they visit some attractions   while they're here and also the employment impact. 16:31:08 A lot of these. You know, friends and,   program programs and series they do, you know,  hire a lot of local people in, you know, to,   to help with certain, it could be actors, it  could be production team, whatever it might be,   so it helps with employment also. 16:31:28 So, so there is a lot of impact  

coming from that division and then we finally we  have our operations and finance team which really   takes care of all the you know regal everyday  administrative task and then also help and   manage and oversee our visitor welcome centers. 16:31:48 We have about 13 across the state.  16:31:52 So I just wanted to share, you know,  a little bit of detail of how we as a research   team work with our internal marketing team. 16:32:04 As I mentioned, we provide research to   drive, you know, VTC. As I mentioned, we  provide a research to drive, you know,   VTCs marketing decision, in a nutshell. 16:32:14 Really, we, we are here to, you know, we,   support and provide information to our marketing  team like research to our marketing team so they   so they have an idea on what to produce as ads. 16:32:28 So the process really looks like,   you know, we do research on  1st finding the, you know,   what the image of Virginia is to our travelers. 16:32:39 What do Virginia think about what the  

travelers think about Virginia, what do they like  about our state, what what is Virginia's offerings   that really risen it with this travelers. 16:32:49 So we find this information about,   you know, image of our state and  then we also do further research   to identify who our poor audience is. 16:33:00 So like who are these people   who are put into a traveler visiting  Virginia? What are their behaviors?  16:33:06 What do they like? You know, where  should we do in our ads? Where the where do   they live and and information and audience? 16:33:16 So with this information,   our marketing team then, you know, will work  with our ad agency and create ad campaigns   and serve ads of our destination that is  Virginia to these potential travelers.  16:33:30 And once the, you know, the campaign is  finally done and over we miss we also you know   measure how our ads did and and what worked  what didn't work we do an assessment of that   and to understand how we can do better. 16:33:45 Next time and then start over  

with another ad with another ad campaign in  another year. So if that's a process like   1st we do research to understand travelers,  we do to understand where they are where we   can run our ads and then finally do, you know,  like, measurement towards the end of the end,   ad campaign and then understand what we did bit  what works for us as a in terms of marketing  16:34:14 what doesn't work all that kind of  stuff and then run the ads for you know do   another add another year another season and  things like that so it's really fun it's fun   to see virginity for lowers as as an ad and to  see that what we do really brings in people and   have that impact in our overall economy. 16:34:36 So from this overview, I'd like   to move slightly to, some of the data. 16:34:43 So what does, in terms of impact,  

what does Virginia, tourism industry looks  like? You know, I know this chart, this   slide here has a lot of numbers and they're big. 16:34:55 So I'll break it down. For you guys. So,   you know, in 2,022 and that's  the most recent data we have.  16:35:03 We welcomed I'm in Virginia really  welcomed 108 million visitors and out of which   42 million stayed overnight in our state. 16:35:13 And, and usually, you know,   we are happy to welcome any visitor  whether they are day visitors,   whether they are overnight visitors, right? 16:35:22 But our main focus is to bring that.   Bring a hide, bring up the share of overnight  visitors because they tend to stay long,   they tend to stay spend more money when they're  here and that's what we want right for people to   come and spend their dollars here in Virginia  and with the 108 million people who came they   directly spent 30 billion dollars in Virginia  and to break that number down it's really 83  16:35:52 1 million every day for an entire year.  So, so that's the impact that tourism industry in  

Virginia has and and the visitor economy like this  one generates thousands of jobs and billions in   state and local taxes, income for this employment. 16:36:11 So really in the screen you can see in   2022 the 30 billion dollar that the visitors  spent in Virginia really translated into   creating 210,000 jobs like putting 10,000  version 210,000 Virginians employed.  16:36:30 You know, when we talk about 42  million overnight visitors, that, is again,   like how much is it, right? 16:36:42 To put that in   context. The overall population of the state.  The overall population of the state is about   8.6 million I'd say so the 42.2 million visitor  overnight visitors come in coming in just one  

year that is equivalent to roughly translating  to 5 times the entire population of the state.  16:37:02 So that many people coming to visit  Virginia in just a year, I think, that, that's,   huge and, and the, as these visitors come  in and spend money, they pay taxes, right?  16:37:15 When they pay taxes that the tax amount  that they pay taxes, right? When they pay taxes   that the tax amount that they pay taxes that  the tax amount that they pay that will total   2.2 billion dollar for state and for  in state and local taxes for Virginia.  16:37:26 And 2 billion and that's a large  sum of money to put that in context. 2.2   billion dollars generated in state and local taxes  for Virginia that is really equivalent to the   salaries of more than 35,000 teachers in Virginia. 16:37:42 So, so this is this really you know helps  

us understand how big the tourism industry  for Virginia is and why this is so important   for us because it really, you know, helps  the economy, the improve with employment,   makes our community be vibrant because,  you know, people tend to to come to those   locations which are vibrant and you know the  ones that you'd want to live and work and play.  16:38:12 Really helps in creating  vibrant communities as well. So the   the benefit of the industry is to fold as well. 16:38:20 So this slide here, it's just an example   of, you know, how to understand like how you  know people's like how do people spend money   and how and what's the impact the 30 billion  dollar impact that is as a result of tourism   how does that look like like what does it mean  and how does you know like every community or   locality benefit from it so just imagine like. 16:38:48 A friend, someone, Liza. She is from  

Charlotte. She flew to Richmond,  and she took an Uber to her hotel.  16:38:59 She checked checked in the Jefferson  Hotel for a night and and and she went to   eat dinner at the Cancan restaurant. 16:39:06 Next day let's imagine she went   to watch a show at Altria Theatre here in Downton  Richmond and then also went to rooster's coffee   afterwards to buy some coffee and some gifts. 16:39:18 So finally she'll take an Uber back.  

To the airport and then flies back to her home. 16:39:24 So in this example you can see that   Liza is really spending money in every single  tourism category, tourism spending categories.  16:39:32 She's spending money in transportation,  lodging, food and beverages, recreation, retail,   and back again transport. 16:39:39 And so So every  

single dollar that she spends in all  these categories, enrichment, that comes   to account towards that 30 billion dollar. 16:39:50 Now think of all the 108 million   people who travel to Virginia in 2,022 every  single dollar all this visitors spent during   the year that total, to 30, 30 billion dollars. 16:40:03 So that's how the tourism, you know,   works and how it feels every  virgin industry and community.  16:40:12 Across the state. 16:40:15 And, again,   looking at the spending by categories,  transportation and food in by risk sector   really captures the largest amount of dollars. 16:40:25 When we think about Virginia,   it's like it's primarily a drive  market. People are traveling,  

you know, driving in their cars from states  like New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey,   also North Carolina and even Florida. 16:40:39 So it's a it's a drive market   and then we also have airports international  airports Dulles and Ronald Dragon group and   others across the state that really  captures that transportation spending.  16:40:54 And then rest lots of restaurants  like when people travel we have to eat   right so put in beverage early captures  a large share of tourism dollar as well.  16:41:05 So, I, really wanted to talk about  how outdoor recreation is such an important   aspect of for Virginia and and with summers  presentation early earlier talking about natural   page I add that's it's It's so important for us  to understand the importance of outdoors because   we have a lot of products like that that really  works with our consumers or travelers that they   want to come and see and do. 16:41:34 In Virginia. So,   you know, our research have really shown that  a large segment of visitors identify outdoors   as their main reason for visiting Virginia. 16:41:47 We have, you know, we have a lot   of outer products that appeal to travelers  think about the natural bridge state part,   for example, or the Shenandoah National Park or  Pocahontas National Booker Hunter State Park,   you know, and, and Louisa Mountains and  there's so many outdoor products that   we have to offer that appeal to these travelers. 16:42:09 And in 2022 Virginia received over 3  

million overnight visitors who had like,  who said like outdoors was their primary   reason to visit Virginia and they engaged  in outdoor activities while they were here.  16:42:25 So and and among these outer  specific travelers, 74% of these travelers   are really traveling from out of state. 16:42:34 Again, outdoor recreation is,   you know, really the driver. One of the important  driver of tourism for the Virginia's economy   because it is really working to bring that  out of state dollars from tourists like 74%   coming from out of state the money flowing  in Virginia's economy is from out of state.  16:43:00 So that adds a lot of benefit to our  economy and and therefore outdoors and its impact   is huge for Virginia and the state really benefits  from the money flowing in from other states.  16:43:12 So when we ask, you know,  what they like about, you know,   with outdoors for Virginia, we really see that  people enjoy our beautiful scenery, natural   areas and outdoor recreation opportunities. 16:43:26 People are interested in both adventurous  

activities and also relaxed outdoor activities. So  primarily, you know, we all know Virginia is has a   very strong history and history always ranks. 16:43:40 As a number one activity for people   to do or see or learn about when they're here but  outer is also very close in terms of how it ranks.  16:43:55 With the travelers and really, works  towards, our tourism industry like helps with   bringing in more people spending more money here. 16:44:08 And then moving on, I really wanted to  

touch on about, you know, what the possible  career, you know, prospects could be for   you when you are ready to join workforce. 16:44:22 I should I should say. I did talk   about our different division earlier like  marketing, partnership marketing, research,   film and operation and finance, within those there  are several ways you can become part of our team.  16:44:38 Tourism is really a very  multi-disciplinary industry. So you   can have education background in hospitality  industry or economics or social science or.  16:44:52 Mass communications whatever it might  be you can have very diverse education base and   you can still be working in this industry. 16:44:59 There are so many paths you can  

take and for one if you like analyzing  data or if you want to be you know in   the data and trying to solve some critical  questions you may join our research team.  16:45:16 Under marketing division itself,  there are so many different ways you can   take. If you are creative and like to  work with photography or videoography,   want to work with creating ads in that type of  creative situation, you can join our brand team.  16:45:31 We have social media team and  also someone who write blogs for us.   So if you like something in content,  you can join our content team.  16:45:41 Digital marketing is so huge and  is in demand right now and there are so   many opportunities within our digital  department with and you know online   tools that you can look towards working on. 16:45:56 And then we also have communications  

in PR. Our office really works very closely  with the governor's office given because   we are a state-funded agency. 16:46:05 So there is a lot of   opportunities to have joint press religious  with the governor's office and sometimes we   just published things from our own channels  and we so with that you know you can work in   communications and PR too and if you're looking  You know, you can join our partnership marketing   team if you really like, works relating  to advocacy or if you like, to work very   closely with the communities and local tourism 16:46:33 partners. There is so many ways you can  

you can work in that type of setting like  very closely with the community partners.  16:46:39 And, and our partnership  marketing team does just that. We,   we like to support young talents and also work  with college interns, you know, as well and in   we have recently started working with. 16:46:57 You know, students who,   I'll want to have that, firsthand,  professional experience before they   really graduate and go work and out in the field. 16:47:13 So in we did start internship program  

with in virgin a tourism last year we  had an interim join for the summer.  16:47:23 Welcome another intern. He'll be  joining us in May. I mean in June, sorry,   in June, so we are excited about that. 16:47:33 To share that there is so many   avenues and opportunities that you have to work in  Virginia tourism industry and it is so diverse and   it is so you know like intimate and really works  towards bringing so much value to the overall.  16:47:52 You know, state economy. So I am  so excited to be part of this team and you  

are more than welcome to reach out to us. 16:48:02 With any questions or if you're   interested in turning with us in a few years down  the line, whatever it may be, just feel free to   reach out and I hope I hope my presentation  today really help you have that perspective on.  16:48:18 You know in terms of what the tourism  industry is what our agency does towards it.   And that's all I have. 16:48:26 Thank you.  16:48:28 Thank you, Patricia.  Thank you, thank you so much. 

16:48:34 Yeah, and if you'll have  questions, feel free to, you know,   ask or reach out later, whatever. 16:48:39 Yes, I was going to say   if you have any questions, feel free to go  ahead and put them in the chat at this time.  16:48:44 While everyone is thinking  about the questions, I was going to ask   you How do you, how does your research team? 16:48:54 Basically compile all this data. To  

go ahead and make it digestible for us so that  we know where those dollars are being spent and   where all these individuals are going. 16:49:06 Yeah, we so like I said,   so many bit numbers and what does it  mean? And so with presentations like this,   sometimes we try to put numbers in context  but we really work with a lot of vendors.  16:49:20 Tourism partners like other you know  consultant consulting firm who helps us put all   the numbers in perspective like how are we doing  in terms of in running our ads or how effective   with our ads and and really help us also. 16:49:41 And how effective with our ads  

and and really help us also break down some  of the key points that that come out from   this and really help us also, break down some of  the key points that, come out from this, study.  16:49:53 And with, so one of the most  important part of job is like being able to,   you know, translate all the information. 16:49:57 We have to our partners and,   and our, when I say our partners,  I mean all 133 localities, cities   countries across the state, sometimes towns too. 16:50:07 And we really like sometimes do one and  

ones and just sit down and talk through  the data we have a lot of you know like   bullet points talking points that we share and  and beforehand before we you know provide our   data to them and before we you know provide  our data to them and are always available if   they you know provide our data to them and are  always available if they have any questions.  16:50:28 As, they go in and dissect  the data themselves. So there is a   lot of stepped process that we do. 16:50:34 And, It's been, it's really   interesting part of the job. Like one, I am  passionate about this job is because We are   able to help with the, you know, information that  we can provide and that really, you know, the,   we say clients service or customer service. 16:50:53 I see that as a part of our job and  

that's, you know, we just  talk and communicate and,   and try and explain what the number is saying. 16:51:02 Love that. Yes, thank you so much.   And I haven't seen any questions come through, but  if anything pops up as I'm still going through,   I'll make sure to direct them both to you. 16:51:13 And if anyone has any questions that   they think about after the presentation. Please  feel free to send them to us and I will make sure  

that they get to both Summer and Pratiksha. 16:51:22 Sounds good.  16:51:23 But thank you both again. For  taking the time to join us this afternoon   and discussing tourism in Virginia with us. 16:51:31 And as I mentioned, if you have any  

specific questions, please feel  free to send them to our Gmail.  16:51:38 Address it's wtscentralva.transportation And I will make sure that those   questions get directed where they need to. 16:51:48 Summer and Pratiksha, I appreciate  

you both taking the time. I am actually  going to stop our recording at this time.

2024-06-06 11:12

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