‘There’s Still Adventure Out There’ Campaign to Target Northern Virginia Visitor Market

ROANOKE, VA – April 10, 2024 – Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge (VBR) unveiled its spring 2024 strategic marketing campaign on Wednesday, April 10 at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center. The 12-week campaign, running April through June, will target the Northern Virginia area of the Washington, D.C. DMA (designated market area) - a key feeder market for the destination. 

The campaign will build on the success of the 2023 marketing campaign in the same market and feature the same messaging to establish brand recall for the target audience. After the 2023 campaign concluded, Virginia’s Blue Ridge saw a 7% increase in visitation from the Washington, D.C area. Visitors from the D.C. area spent 20% more each day than in the previous year and accounted for 11.8% of total visitor spending (a 26% increase over 2022)*. The 2023 campaign was partially supported by a $20,000 Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing Leverage Grant. 

Visit VBR will target individuals that live in the Northern Virginia area of the Washington, D.C. metro who display interests in travel, outdoor recreation and road trips. Overall, the campaign aims to build brand awareness for Virginia’s Blue Ridge as a vacation destination. The creative and messaging will showcase the rich opportunities for outdoor recreation that set the region apart as a unique, metro mountain destination. It will also position Virginia’s Blue Ridge as an accessible and convenient vacation destination for travelers from the Northern Virginia and greater DMV area, offering close proximity via Interstate 81, passenger train service via Amtrak, and direct air service via Dulles International Airport.

Through both out-of-home and digital advertising, Visit VBR will continue to educate the Northern Virginia audience about specific locations and experiences in VBR to provide context of where the destination is located and why it is worth visiting. The advertising package will include prominent messaging and creative in Metro stations strategically chosen based on the highest visibility; as well as branded displays on DC Metro buses and materials that will display on mobile devices. New tactics for 2024 include an advertising “takeover” at Amtrak’s Union Station in Washington, D.C. as well as posters and digital advertising on Amtrak’s Northeast Regional Train that provides twice daily service to VBR. As another new tactic for 2024’s campaign, cars (Lyft, Uber, DoorDash) will be wrapped with campaign messaging and seen in targeted markets and specific events such as the National Cherry Blossom Festival and Nationals games. 

Campaign-specific messaging will also be promoted through advertising with paid social/digital, YouTube, and streaming TV along with a series of targeted marketing e-mails deployed to one million prospective visitors in the Northern Virginia market. The campaign will also feature a digital display and video advertising program that focuses on retargeting people who previously visited the destination within the past 5 years.

Visit VBR will utilize spaces in the Northern Virginia/D.C. market to host special functions and events that reach key target audiences. Members of the Visit VBR team will host key contacts from the meetings and PR industries at a Washington Nationals game to build relationships and generate new group business and PR coverage for the destination.

Landon Howard, President of Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, shared his excitement for the campaign: “Our marketing team has done an incredible job of creating and managing the campaign in-house, allowing us to invest more of the budget into programs in the target market instead of paying fees to an outside agency. We look forward to seeing even greater increases in visitation and visitor spending from the Washington, D.C. metro area as we build on the success of last year’s campaign.”

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Media Contact
Kathryn Lucas (Director of Public Relations)
540-494-9235 (cell)

About Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge
Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge (VBR) is the official destination marketing organization for Virginia’s Blue Ridge which includes the Cities of Roanoke and Salem and the Counties of Botetourt, Franklin and Roanoke. Virginia’s Blue Ridge (VBR) is nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains and along the Blue Ridge Parkway, providing a metro mountain mix of exciting outdoor adventure with refined culture. The region is easily accessible via the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport (ROA), Interstate 81, and Amtrak’s northeast regional route. For more information, go to www.VisitVBR.com.  

*=Based on data collected by Zartico between June 1 and December 31, 2023