First meeting of VA’s LGBT Tourism Taskforce happens tomorrow
“LGBT marketing for travel was one of the very first places that LGBT marketing was really seen as true marketing and opportunity,” said Rita McClenny, Virginia Tourism Center President and CEO, ahead of the Virginia’s first LGBT Tourism Taskforce meeting slated for Wednesday, 3/11.
“When you look at what makes a place attractive, we want to look at every possibility. We want it to be as well rounded and as much of a mosaic as possible.”
Virginia’s LGBT tourism task force was created by Gov. Terry McAuliffe and announced last fall. These meetings are open to the public and have a time slot set aside for public comment. Tomorrow’s event is the first of four meetings which will occur between now and December.
“The expectations are to learn from our task force members through the course of the four meetings, develop recommendations and a plan for marketing Virginia state-wide to the LGBT community,” McClenny said.
The creation of this task force is the latest move from McAuliffe to support the LGBT community and put the focus on Virginia’s economy. His first executive order issued a ban on discrimination in the public work place based on sexual orientation or gender identity. He is also the first governor to recognize National Coming Out Day and supported AG Mark Herring when he refused to defend Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage.
“We’re unified by one common goal: to make Virginia a better place to live, work, play, and raise a family,” said McAuliffe in a press release about the new task force. “Tourism plays an important role in attaining that goal, building communities, and helping drive the new Virginia economy.”
According the press release, tourism accounts for about $21.5 billion in Virginia, and employs 213,000 statewide.
“We’re just very excited about the group,” McClenny said. “We’re excited about having Virginia is for Lovers and the way we market Virginia be fully representative and we know that we’ll learn a lot in sharing knowledge and ideas and success stories from the members of the task force. We want the industry to be inclusive.”
The LGBT task force is meeting March 11 at the Virginia Capitol House Room 1, 11AM-1PM. Public comment opens after lunch toward the second half of the meeting.
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