The fourth annual Eastern Shore of Virginia Tourism Summit, VisitESVA, will be held on Monday, April 9 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Eastern Shore Community College. Topics covered at the summit include agritourism, the Main Street program and a review of the 2017 tourism marketing program. There will also be a preview of the new regional tourism website for Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Admission is free, lunch will be provided and there will be giveaways. To register call (757) 787-8268.
The annual Eastern Shore of Virginia Tourism Summit, VisitESVA, organized by the Eastern Shore of Virginia Tourism Commission, brings tourism industry partners from across the Eastern Shore together to assess the region’s tourism economy, identify challenges and celebrate successes.
Who Should Attend: Current and aspiring tourism entrepreneurs and those involved in tourism-related businesses including: owners, managers, administrative staff, frontline staff and town/county leaders interested in the future of tourism on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
What You’ll Learn: Tourism is a highly competitive industry — and it’s only getting more so. This meet up is designed to give you both big picture insights and concrete tactics that grow your bottom line. Leave with a better idea of what today’s savvy explorers want when they travel because all of these things impact you and your tourism business. Find new ways to work with people across the region — because collaboration is key to tourism. You’ll also find out how the Eastern Shore of Virginia Tourism Commission’s marketing strategy played out in 2017, and what it plans to do in 2018.
What To Bring: Your thoughts, questions and ideas — this is an informal, interactive workshop environment. Ask questions of the experts, the panelists and each other. Our lively discussions are one of the best parts of our summit. Jump in.
Small Town Vibrancy
Kyle Meyer, Virginia Main Street Program
The charm of our small towns is one of the Eastern Shore of Virginia’s most important assets. Main Street is a systematic approach to transforming struggling towns and cities into places where residents and visitors want to be. Some of our towns are aligning to this valuable program, and we’ll take a look at it, but also focus on how even small and incremental changes can have a significant impact on a town’s sense of place. You’ll also meet a panel of local people who are helping to re-imagine their towns.
Annual Report, Eastern Shore Tourism Commission
Kerry Allison, Eastern Shore Tourism Commission
The Eastern Shore is Virginia’s fastest growing tourism economy and has been for three of the last four years. We’ll take a look at how our regional marketing strategy, deployed by the Tourism Commission, played out over the last year and look ahead to what we’re doing in 2018. It’s an informal talk and we’d like this to be a general discussion about tourism marketing.
Growing Eastern Shore of Virginia Agritourism
Heather Wheeler, Virginia Department of Agriculture
Heads up everybody, the agritourism economy in Virginia is worth $2.2 billion and on the Eastern Shore there’s lots of opportunity for growth. We are a rural destination and have a compelling opportunity to connect visitors directly with our local farmers, aquafarmers and agri-artisans. Travelers pay big money for these kinds of experiences. A panel of local agritourism entrepreneurs will weigh in on the topic too.
Sneak Peek: New Tourism Website
Peter Leddy, President, Otto Advertising and Marketing
Get a look at the new Eastern Shore of Virginia regional tourism website, a major new technology platform that will change the way we market the Eastern Shore of Virginia. We’ve been working around the clock with the great minds at Otto to build a new website from the ground up. You will see it first.