Visit Loudoun’s new tourism initiative inspired by the people, events and iconic movements of 1969 will launch in Loudoun this summer thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
Visit Loudoun announced the grant Friday. It comes from the tourism corporation’s “50 Years of Love” grant fund, which is part of the state tourism agency’s efforts to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the “Virginia is for Lovers” tourism slogan. The slogan was created in 1969 by Richmond-based advertising agency Martin & Woltz.
The slogan was inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame in 2009 alongside inductees like the AOL Running Man, the Budweiser Clydesdales, and State Farm’s “Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There” slogan. Shortly before that, Forbes.com had named “Virginia is for Lovers” one of the top ten tourism marketing campaigns of all time.
Inspired by the cultural touchstones of 1969, Visit Loudoun created a Summer of Love Tour, which will launch in June with experiences throughout 10 of Loudoun’s towns and villages. The campaign will feature 13 tour stops and culminate with the Summer of Love Music Festival in August.
“We are thrilled to partner with VTC in celebrating the 50th anniversary of Virginia is for Lovers and highlight all there is to love in Loudoun,” said Visit Loudoun President and CEO Beth Erickson. “We look forward to rolling out our plan for a fun-filled summer promotion unlike anything we’ve done before.”
As part of the campaign, Visit Loudoun is developing a partnership with Lindsay Volkswagen of Dulles to have a circa 1970 VW bus make an appearance at each stop, acting as a mobile visitor center and Instagram hot spot. Visit Loudoun will also work with their partners to create a “50 Years of Love” branded wine and beer to be released this summer, along with other projects to raise brand awareness and encourage people to #ShareWhatYouLove about Loudoun and Virginia.
“Virginia is for Lovers is one of the most iconic tourism slogans in the world, and we are thrilled to be celebrating ‘50 years of Love’ with partners from around the Commonwealth in 2019,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. “This grant program provides an engaging opportunity for destinations across the state to showcase what makes a vacation in Virginia so special and helps to show travelers why Virginia is for Lovers still rings true 50 years later.”
In total, the tourism committee awarded $390,000 to 39 tourism marketing programs across the state to help increase visitation and revenue. Each grant recipient received a $10,000 grant for its “50 Years of Love” project, with the requirement of engaging 10 or more tourism partners in order to receive grant funding.
The Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency responsible for marketing Virginia to visitors and promoting the “Virginia is for Lovers” brand, which is celebrating 50 years in 2019. According to the corporation, visitors in 2017 spent $25 billion, which supported 232,000 jobs and contributed $1.73 billion in state and local taxes.
For more information about 50 Years of Love, visit https://www.vatc.org/50YEARSOFLOVE/.