(PRWEB) July 13, 2005
Governor Mark Warner has announced that his Executive Order 6, designed to encourage state agencies to aggressively attract meetings business to the state, has resulted in close to 200 meeting bookings with an estimated economic impact of $35 million. Governor Warner made his comments at a special Virginia Beach event celebrating the dual milestones.
ÂTourism employs more than 264,000 Virginians, and this commonsense directive has, in effect, enlisted the help of the entire state workforce to the efforts of the Virginia Tourism Corporation to attract conventions and meetings,Â Governor Warner said. ÂIt is important that state employees pursue professional growth and share ideas through membership in national and regional organizations, and it just makes sense to ask these employees to be aggressive in urging their associations to meet in Virginia.Â
Executive Order 6 was launched in January, 2002, shortly after Warner took office. The initiative is based on a statewide mandate to all state agencies, boards and commissions to recruit national and regional conferences to Virginia.
The Virginia Tourism Corporation is charged with spearheading and coordinating this effort. Among the meetings and conventions that have been confirmed since Executive Order Six was issued are:
- 2004 Southern GovernorÂs Association Annual Meeting, 13 governors and 500 delegates, Richmond;
- International Watchable Wildlife Conference, 450 delegates, Virginia Beach;
- Travel South Destination Showcase, 600 delegates, Richmond;
- Society for Historical Archeology 2007 Annual Meeting, 800 delegates, Williamsburg;
- Outdoor Writers Association of America 2007 meeting, 600 delegates, Roanoke
ÂWe are gratified with the governorÂs personal involvement in recruiting this large economic sector to the state,Â said Alisa Bailey, President and CEO of VTC. ÂThe $35 million impact is very significant to our overall efforts to grow tourism in Virginia.Â
Tourism is a $14 billion industry in Virginia, providing $1.9 billion in state and local taxes. Meetings and conventions alone contribute $800 million annually to the stateÂs economy, Bailey said.
ÂWith the recent openings of the Richmond and Hampton Convention Centers as well as the planned openings of convention and meeting facilities in Virginia Beach, Wytheviille and Suffolk, the meetings industry in Virginia is poised for outstanding growth,Â Warner said. ÂThese projects alone represent an increase in the stateÂs meeting capacity of more than 40,000 conventioneers. This growth, along with the expected interest that will be generated in holding meetings to coincide with the 2007 Jamestown commemoration, combine to make it more important than ever to rededicate ourselves to the goals outlined in Executive Order 6.Â
For more information on Virginia meetings and conventions, visit http://www.virginia.org/meetings. Created and maintained by the Virginia Tourism Corporation, this site provides information on Virginia facilities, convention and visitor bureaus, accommodations and local and regional contacts for meeting planners.
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