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Thursday, Feb 22, 2018

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2010: Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy: Vision Hampton Roads - Tourism, Arts & Culture PDF Print E-mail

Task Force:  Tourism, Arts & Culture

Lead Contact:  Rob Cross, Virginia Arts Festival
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Alternate Contact:  Anthony DiFilippo, VisitNorfolkToday and Coastal VA Tourism Alliance
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The “Operations-Tactical Component” of the Plan of Action will address the implementation of specific actions that will have the greatest short term impact on maintaining and growing the three (3) pillars of our regional economy and nurturing those regional assets that have the most realistic chance of diversifying our economy: Tourism / Arts & Culture.

Hampton Roads is a popular vacation destination for millions of visitors annually. Each city has its own unique attractions, events and activities. Getting to the region is easy and economical – whether driving, traveling by train or via any of the airlines serving Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport and Norfolk International Airport.


From the surf and sand of Virginia Beach, longest pleasure beach in the world, to the Historic Triangle of Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown, to the attractive convention centers spread throughout the region, Hampton Roads is an established multi-faceted tourist destination. According to the Virginia Tourism Corporation, tourists spent in excess of $3.7 billion in Hampton Roads in 2007. The Leisure and Hospitality industry employed 85,400 people in Hampton Roads, adding over 6,000 positions in the last three years to make it the second fastest growing employment sector in the region. In addition to the hoteliers who depend on tourists to fill their rooms, tourism brings extensive new money to restaurants, retail establishments and government coffers. (Source: HRPDC Regional Profile)

Tourism impacts practically all area businesses, contributing to quality of life through the influx of tax revenue, creation of jobs and rise of services and attractions that add to the vibrancy of life in Hampton Roads. Tourism supports the development and enhancement of amenities that local business employees and residents can enjoy. For businesses in Hampton Roads, that means improved recruiting and retention of work force talent and greater quality of life for those employees. (Source: Coastal Virginia Tourism Alliance - formerly Southeast VA Tourism Alliance)

Arts and Culture in Hampton Roads serve as a significant component of the Tourism industry. The arts strengthen our communities, lift our spirits and build a better quality of life for everyone in Hampton Roads. (Source: Virginians for the Arts) As a billion dollar industry, arts and cultural organizations create millions of dollars in revenues for Hampton Roads businesses, attract out-of-state tourism spending, generate millions of dollars in personal income for Hampton Roads’ workforce and entrepreneurs and create thousands of jobs for residents in the region. The economic impact of arts and cultural organizations in Hampton Roads is significant.

Tourism, Arts & Culture Objectives-Strategies-Actions

OBJECTIVE:  Hampton Roads will be the Premier Year-Round Destination of distinction and appeal to travelers while significantly increasing quality of life for residents by leveraging the variety of attractions, arts and culture, venues and performances and recreational opportunities that exist in the region. (#3 Ranked Objective)

Strategy 1:  Develop and promote a brand identity to capture the region’s diversity as the gateway to a Virginia vacation.

Action 1:  Develop products that extend the tourism season in Hampton Roads.

Action 2:  Invest in arts and culture offerings that support travel and tourism, enhance the quality of life for residents of the region and attract creative and entrepreneurial knowledge workers to relocate to the region.

Action 3:  Promote the region’s existing and new venues as innovative complements to the Hampton Roads’ tourism, arts and culture experience.

Action 4:  Define, develop and promote Hampton Roads as an eco-friendly tourism destination.

Action 5:  Develop identification of and a regional awareness of travel and tourism target markets for Hampton Roads, including intraregional.

Strategy 2:  Attract economic investment in Hampton Roads by providing an exceptional quality of life made possible by the region’s tourism and arts and culture experience.

Action 1:  Ensure existing arts and culture facilities are properly provided with consistent funding and dynamic programming.

Action 2:  Determine local populace’s unmet and supportable arts and cultural needs and expand the current programming to encompass those activities and events.

Action 3:  Augment marketing strategies for the region’s current tourism, arts and culture opportunities outside the state, both nationally and internationally.

Action 4:  Attract new businesses and leverage existing business services and products to help the region tell its “brand identity” story.

Action 5:  Quantify, through research, the economic impact of travel and tourism for new, significant investment in Tourism and Arts & Culture.

Strategy 3:  Create sustainable regional tourism and a diverse arts and culture experience that is consistently funded, well coordinated and fully appreciated by the community.

Action 1:  Quantify and clearly articulate the depth, scope and quality of the economic and lifestyle impact of tourism, arts and culture in Hampton Roads.


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