Virginia Is for Families, Too

State tourism officials unveil a new ad campaign

By Julie Carey
|  Monday, Mar 14, 2011  |  Updated 9:15 PM EDT
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A new tourism campaign just launched in <a title=Virginia is trying to get out of state residents to visit." />

Julie Carey

A new tourism campaign just launched in Virginia is trying to get out of state residents to visit.

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Virginia has been for lovers for more than 40 years, but a new ad campaign launched Monday focuses on attracting visitors from a slightly different demographic.

The campaign would fit well with a slogan like "Virginia Is for Loved Ones," as state tourism officials try to attract young families.

Mt. Vernon has employed that strategy for years with its family friendly interactive education center.

State tourism officials said families are attracted to iconic history, a chance for outdoor recreation and a hands-on experience.

Gov. Bob McDonnell announced the new pitch on Monday. It will return Virginia to key out-of-state markets for the first time in four years and has the potential to reach 15 million people.

Virginia tourism generates almost $18 billion in revenue for the state, supporting just over 200,000 jobs, but during the recession, even places like Mt. Vernon have seen a drop in tourist traffic.

The new ads will air in New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, D.C., Raleigh/Durham, N.C., and three cities in Ohio.

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