Listening before we speak. Understanding before we move. Knowing before doing. As our team has worked to develop and evolve travel brands over the years, those guiding principles have never served us wrong. We’ve combed through every decimal point in the research and listened closely to visitors.
Enter the Coastal Virginia Tourism Alliance, a travel coalition of the region’s cities. Even the name itself was a DIA creation, born from a need to move the region from its confusing and little-embraced “Hampton Roads” moniker to something far more memorable and identifiable to tourists. In other words, the water.
Visitors here don’t see walls between Hampton Roads cities. They might come to Norfolk for a business meeting, but they’ll visit Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, Williamsburg, Hampton and Newport News.
The Coastal Virginia Tourism Alliance looked to DIA for the creation of a logo tagline as well as advertising and marketing collateral. We launched a new digital marketing campaign, the centerpiece of which is a new website – VisitCoVa.com. The site, simplified and optimized to accommodate mobile users, draws input from the partner DMOs to showcase the region’s attractions, restaurants, historic sites, festivals and marquee events.
Our social media strategy centers on pushing out quality, relevant story content to targeted audiences with links back to the site. Meanwhile, the partner cities continue to use and reinforce the name “Coastal Virginia.” We are seeing the phrase turn up in the regional vernacular, the news media, and as a favored nickname and social media hashtag: #CoVa. We believe strongly in the Alliance’s mission and commitment to the frequency, repetition and employment of the brand at every possible tourist touch point. Building a new regional travel brand takes time. We’re loving every minute of it.