PRSA Travel & Tourism Conference – A Few Takeaways


Erin, John and Kasey from the MarComm team recently attended the PRSA Travel & Tourism Conference conference in Philly. Below are some notes from the conference. If you know of VB experiences that are buzzworthy as noted below, contact  with your idea!


PRSA polled the top 50 travel writers in the biz prior to the conference and learned the following:

 Writers Are Sick of Hearing About These Travel Trends:

  • Farm-to-Table
  • Ultra Luxury
  • Goat Yoga
  • National Whatever Day
  • Breweries & Beer Pairings
  • Girlfriend Getaway
  • Glamping
  • Food Trails


Writers Want to Hear More About:

  • Sustainability
  • Wellness
  • Multigenerational travel opportunities
  • Solo travel opportunities
  • Shorter trips
  • CBD
  • Cruises
  • Veggie / Vegan
  • Low ABV / non-alcoholic drinks i.e. kombucha
  • High-end Asian
  • Hands on cooking experiences
  • Ugly food!

If any of you have ideas that would fall into any of the above categories, please share with me and I’ll pass along to writers


Top 8 Luxury Travel Publications Right Now:

  • Travel + Leisure
  • Conde Nast Traveler
  • Robb Report
  • Departures
  • AFAR
  • Forbes
  • Town + Country
  • Luxury Travel


Current Media Trends:

  • Expanding influence of the citizen journalist and bloggers
  • Live-streaming continues to grow in popularity and is a major force in breaking news
  • GIFs are a driving engagement with news media
  • We all produce content now; distribution is limitless
  • Social apps are continually evolving and becoming media and publication offerings


More Travel & Tourism Trends:

  • Virtual tours. Whether it’s a hotel room, a vacation rental, a cruise ship or even an activity at a destination, giving travelers the chance to explore the experience before they get there is helpful
  • Smaller market cities have become a top travel bucket-list destination choice for many leisure vacationers. Locations such as Austin, Raleigh, N.C., Nashville, Tenn., and Spokane, Wash., (maybe we can get VB on here soon? J)are hot places to visit because of the affordability and unadulterated culture. Travelers have either already visited main market locations or know someone who has and want “something cool and different.”
  • Reputation management, social media content creation and strategy, advertorial placements, and SEO/AdWords tactics are becoming more prominent tasks assigned to our departments
  • Content that is shareable and can get extra legs after a trip or single news announcement. Creating those stories, memories, moments and photo ops can make a great initial story, but can be woven into future storytelling too.

Employee Spotlight – James Shampoe

  1. Employee name: James Shampoe
  2. Where were you born and where is your hometown? Born in Quantico, VA (Marine Corp brat) and now live in Virginia Beach since 1973
  3. What division and position do you work for? CVB/VBCC – Operations
  4. How many years have you worked for the CVB? 14
  5. How many years have you worked for the City of Va. Beach? 14
  6. What is the best vacation you’ve been on? Key West, FL. & St. Croix, V.I.
  7. What is your favorite thing to do in the wonderful City of Virginia Beach? Spend time with my loving wife, Theresa
  8. What is your favorite quote? K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid)
  9. Do you have an office nickname? Yes- Jim or Poe
  10. Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us: I have had photos published in Surfer Magazine and was  a competitive swimmer (AAU)
  11. What do you like to do for fun? Watch and go to the Nationals Baseball Games
  12. What is one thing you cannot resist? Chicken Nuggets
  13. What is on your bucket list? The Black Hills of the Dakotas
  14. What is your hidden talent? I’m still looking for talent.

Employee Spotlight – Susan Riley

  1. Employee name: Susan Riley
  2. Where were you born and where is your hometown? I was born in Norfolk VA, I was raised in Virginia Beach and lived in VB until 2008 when I moved to surprising Suffolk. I will always be a Beach Girl at heart though!
  3. What division and position do you work for? I work in the Director’s Office in the Administrative Services unit. I am the Department Accountant
  4. How many years have you worked for the CVB? I worked for the CVB for 23 years as an Account Clerk and I’ve worked for CVB as the Accountant for the past 7 years. So I’ve worked for CVB a total of 30 years!
  5. How many years have you worked for the City of Va. Beach? 34 years – I worked for VB Finance for 4 years as an Accountant
  6. What is the best vacation you’ve been on? No question! St John USVI in 2010 and 2013! I want to go back in 2020 if I can save enough in my vacation fund!
  7. What is your favorite thing to do in the wonderful City of Virginia Beach? I love Sandbridge beach even in the winter, but especially in the summer. I also love biking through Back Bay National Wildlife refuge to False Cape State Park. I forgot about canoeing down West Neck Creek to the North Landing River, I love that too. Sorry that is 3 favorite things and I could go on!
  8. What is your favorite quote? One of my favorite quotes is “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart” Helen Keller.
  9. Do you have an office nickname? If so what is it? Not really, I’ll answer to anything but Sue – just do not call me Sue!
  10. Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us: Most people don’t know that I got my CPA license in 2010. It just goes to show, if you want anything bad enough and you work hard enough, you can get it!
  11. What do you like to do for fun? I also love to get out on the water in a canoe or kayak and just be totally lazy with it. I’ve down some rapids but I prefer the flat water in VB. I’m not good at it and I don’t swim very well, but I love it. It’s all about being outside in a beautiful setting and exploring. I haven’t done this in quite a while and I miss it.
  12. What is one thing you cannot resist? ICE CREAM and do not let me eat any candy or cookies – I’m just warning you!
  13. What is on your bucket list? So far, hiking the Appalachian Trail when I retire (maybe)
  14. What is your hidden talent? This is so weird – but I realized that I liked numbers when I could quickly scan a whole wall of oil filters in Kmart for my then boyfriend and quickly find the one he needed. So numbers kind of jump out at me. Words do not have this same effect! This is the first time ever, I’ve shared this!

Money Ranks Virginia Beach In Top 8 Best Beaches to Visit This Summer

Based on activities, hotel costs and airfare, Money magazine included Virginia Beach in their list of the top eight beaches to visit this summer. Alongside iconic beach destinations such as San Diego, CA, and Cape May, NJ, Virginia Beach is one of four East Coast beach destinations to make the 2019 cut. Located within a days’ drive from 2/3 of the country, our coastal city has a predominantly large drive market, however, reduced airfares coupled with more than 250 flights in and out of Norfolk make flying lucrative for the traveler looking to cut their travel time. Excerpt from the article:  “Enjoying the surf on Virginia Beach’s classic coastline just got a little easier: the average cost of a flight into nearby Norfolk and Newport airports dropped nearly 13% between 2017 and 2018, according to Kayak. For loyal vacationers and newbies, that’s a welcome discount on access to the seaside city’s free three miles of sandy beaches — not to mention its 475 top-rated restaurants and nearly 80 high-ranking bars, according to Yelp.” Read the entire article here: is a trusted online resource for useful information about money and the way it affects our lives. Published by Meredith, Money’s brand footprint includes 5m+ readers, 15m+ monthly page views, 1m+ Facebook followers, 380k Twitter followers and 22k+ Instagram followers.

Graduations @ VBCC

One of 13. Did you know nearly 50,000 people come through VBCC’s doors each year for graduations? Anyone graduate here? Leave us a comment!


Fun @ VBCC

Herman Palma, one of VBCC’s maintenance workers goes to work on the carpet. After a spring of events, it desperately needs his attention!


The team that makes things happen!. Brenda, Charn and Tamonia supervise VBCC’s housekeeping and set up division. They never slow down!

Photos from ILEA Awards

ILEA is the International Live Events Association. The awards and installation were for the Hampton Roads Chapter at given at the Virginia Beach Hilton last night, June 12.

Distinctive Gourmet – ILEA Knife & Fork Winners

Photos from Wednesday’s ILEA (Int’l Live Event Association) Gala at the Hilton VB Oceanfront.

DG won both the judge’s and people’s choice for best food display/best food!

And the VBCC was voted Best Venue by ILEA Hampton Roads members.