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Industry Briefs

Initiative Part of $3.25 million Virginia American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Tourism Recovery Program

The Arlington Convention and Visitors Service (ACVS), the official destination marketing organization for Arlington, announced the launch of its new tourism brand at an event recently. Centered on its "All in Arlington" message, the brand aims to inspire awareness and enthusiasm about Arlington among travelers and meeting professionals located outside the national capital region. It highlights the vast array of visitor attractions and activities throughout this 26-square-mile urban county, from historic discoveries to cultural experiences to unexpected adventures.

Arlington's branding update was made possible through federal ARPA funds that were appropriated by the Virginia General Assembly to Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) for COVID-19 recovery of the Commonwealth's tourism industry. In February 2022, Arlington County received a $3.25 million VTC ARPA Tourism Recovery Program grant to fund new marketing and sales initiatives that drive overnight hotel stays and spending at local businesses.

In mid-2022, Arlington began working with marketing agency Fuseideas LLC on an end-to-end brand research and development process. Synthesizing findings from existing and new research combined with stakeholder and audience interviews, Fuseideas revealed a significant evolution in the perception of Arlington as a destination.

"All in Arlington" represents the culmination of insights reflecting a changing destination landscape and new ways that Arlington satisfies the needs and expectations of post-pandemic visitors. With accolades including #1 Fittest U.S. City, #4 Best Park System in America, Platinum Walk Friendly Community, and #2 Happiest Place in the U.S., Arlington and its diverse, welcoming neighborhoods combine the best of city life and urban outdoor living.

At the unveiling, speakers touched on tourism's positive impact on Arlington and how this branding endeavor supports continued growth. U.S. Representative Don Beyer spoke at the celebration, as well as Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey, Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz, and Arlington Chamber President & CEO Kate Bates.

"Before the pandemic, Arlington was consistently ranked Virginia's #1 county for visitor spending," said ACVS Director Emily Cassell. "As recovery began in late 2021, travel provided $2.8 billion in economic impact to our community and supported the livelihoods of 12,000 hardworking hospitality associates. We expect the launch of Arlington's exciting new tourism brand, website, and upcoming 'Go All In' media campaign to further accelerate our industry's recovery toward 2019's record performance and beyond."

The Northern Virginia region, which makes up 42% of travel activity in the state, was the most negatively impacted by the pandemic and experienced a drastic decline in visitation and tourism revenues. Arlington was one of the hardest areas hit, with a significant 57% decline in visitor spending and a 65% decline in accommodation spending in 2020. However, Arlington is now poised for a strong recovery throughout 2023 and into 2024.

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