The longtime slogan for the state of Virginia is getting a slight makeover. Ever popular “Virginia is for Lovers” has become a little more diverse these days, replacing the traditional red heart used as the V in lovers with a rainbow-colored heart.
“We are thrilled to offer this new resource for the LGBT community, their friends and their families to help them plan the perfect vacation in Virginia,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “Travelers to Virginia can experience our legendary historic attractions, more than 280 wineries and 160 craft breweries, outdoor recreation, amazing dining scene, the arts, beautiful beaches, and so much more. We look forward to welcoming all travelers to the Commonwealth to discover for themselves why Virginia is for Lovers.”
The LGBT campaign features a new landing page for LGBT travelers, a resource guide and Virginia is for Lovers pride merchandise.
The state task force, which first met in 2015, is comprised of 21 community leaders and supporters of the LGBT community from across the Commonwealth. It was charged with delivering recommendations to help inspire lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender travelers to visit Virginia by promoting the state’s welcoming and safe destinations as well as inclusive experiences.
Last year, domestic travelers spent $23 billion in Virginia. The report noted that 5 percent of travelers to Virginia identified as LGBT, and they spent more and stayed longer compared to all travelers in Virginia.
Virginia’s new LGBT campaign got valuable support from a case study following a similar promotion by the city of Richmond, Virginia. OutRVA was launched in 2014 with its own LGBT campaign, which was promoted by Richmond Region Tourism. The campaign got international attention with faux coming out letters sent to Ellen DeGeneres and Washington, DC, among others, to announce “I’m gay.”
The concept for OutRVA was developed by a group of students at the Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter, the country’s top-rated graduate program for advertising.