Industry Updates


Visit Williamsburg launched a bridge campaign initiative coinciding with National Travel and Tourism Week, to inspire visitation to Greater Williamsburg when travel resumes.


We’re all doing our part to manage during this strange time. We’re staying apart to flatten the curve and protect ourselves and our loved ones. But Zoom meetings, and FaceTiming, and connecting on your digital platform of choice becomes frustrating. There is simply no replacement for being together. 

And while our homes have become schools for our kids and our computers have become our only windows to the world, we dream of the future. Spending time with the people we care about. Looking at each other face to face. Learning new things and visiting new places. Traveling. 

Message: We’ll be together again soon. 

“We’ll be together again” embraces the promise of tomorrow. It reminds people that we miss that connection as much as they do, and assures everyone that while now is the time to be safe, tomorrow will be the time to be together again. Greater Williamsburg will be ready and waiting when tomorrow arrives.

Launching in conjunction with the 2020 National Travel and Tourism Week May 3-9, the messaging honors the true spirit of travel and looks to the future with a sense of empathy and optimism. 


  • Maintain a marketing presence 
  • Support industry partners and local businesses
  • Facilitate consumer engagement

Target Designated Market Areas:

  • Washington DC
  • Charlottesville, VA
  • Harrisonburg, VA
  • Roanoke-Lynchburg, VA

Timing: May 3 – ongoing 

Channels: Broadcast, Social Media 



Visit Williamsburg is using social media to bring a sense of calm to travel lovers everywhere while they are unable to plan trips to the area. Part of a micro-campaign called #WondersofWilliamsburg, these channels focus on beautiful, scenic landscape images (without showing people) to evoke a sense of “Zen” and tranquility. Find out more details here  and view samples here.



The USTA has released guidelines for ‘Travel in the New Normal’ to promote the health and safety of all travelers as the country reopens from lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic. The guidance is designed for all aspects of the travel industry and builds upon, and aligns with, the White House and CDC guidelines for "Opening Up America Again."  

USTA’s marketing and communications working group is developing a forthcoming industry recovery campaign aimed at domestic travelers.

  • Phase one includes communicating the safety and health guidance that the industry is implementing throughout a traveler's journey 
  • Phase two will include a broader integrated campaign to inspire Americans to travel again, restoring the joyous feelings associated with travel 

Materials for destinations and businesses to use across their communication channels will be available in the coming days. 


Weekly Webinar Series

The USTA launched a new webinar series focused on the recovery of the travel industry. Every Thursday at 12 p.m., the webinar focuses on the guidance, data, and traveler sentiment necessary to safely restore travel and tourism in the U.S. 

The first webinar, "Addressing Uncertainty Through Safety: New Guidance for the Industry," took place May 7, focusing on traveler sentiment toward travel and safety and the recently released health and safety guidance. Access the slide deck here

During the second webinar on May 14, representatives from Engagious presented their latest Back-to-Normal Barometer focusing on the assurances travelers are looking for in order to feel safe traveling again. View the key findings from the Back-to-Normal Barometer here.

The third webinar on May 21 focused on how the travel industry, DMOs in particular, can utilize research to inform their approach to recovery moving forward. The conversation highlighted how the industry can leverage current data and trends to learn, pivot, and adjust their marketing strategies as well as jumpstart the recovery process when the time is right. Listen to the full recording here.

The fourth webinar on May 28 covered approaches and strategies that industry leaders are using to coordinate with partners and businesses in implementing new safety guidance. Access the slide deck here

The next webinar in the Assessing Recovery Series, "Best Practices for Communicating Health and Safety Guidance at Businesses," will take place on June 4, from 12-1 p.m. and will dive into another angle of the reopening experience, focusing on insights and lessons learned from hotels, attractions, and airports. Register here before Thursday.

USTA COVID-19 toolkit

U.S. Travel Association has created a COVID-19 toolkit, which includes the following helpful resources: 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidance for reopening schools, workplaces, events, and more.  The CDC also created a  decision-making tool for restaurants and bars. 

Much of this information is in line with U.S. Travel's Industry Guidance for Promoting the Health and Safety of All Travelers, released earlier this month, with the collaboration of medical professionals and in conjunction with 23 other industry associations.



The AHLA recently released a plan outlining actions that Congress needs to take to help lodging establishments survive the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. The plan, a Roadmap for Recovery: How Congress can help hotels survive the devastation of COVIC-19, is summarized here.  To read the AHLA’s letter to Congress, click here

Safe Stay Initiative 

Safe Stay is AHLA's initiative focused on enhanced hotel cleaning practices, social interactions, and workplace protocols to meet the new health and safety challenges and expectations presented by COVID-19. Working with public health experts, scientists and doctors, The Safe Stay Advisory Council is developing enhanced cleaning and safety standards and best practices for the hotel and lodging industry. For more information, visit here.   

Hospitality for Hope Initiative 

More than 17,000 hotels located near medical facilities throughout the nation are offering housing to health care workers and first responders battling the coronavirus outbreak. To learn more about Hospitality for Hope, visit here. Hotels interested in joining the initiative are encouraged to volunteer via this link.  



Restaurant Reopening Guidance

As state and local governments consider reopening their economies in response to COVID-19, the NRA has drafted guidance for restaurants, captured from best practices from the Food and Drug Administration, academia, and the public health sector, to help state governments align with opening plans and reassure the public that social gathering for a meal is, again, a safe activity.

Restaurant Industry Blueprint for Recovery

The National Restaurant Association announced to Congress a multi-pronged “Blueprint for Recovery” plan for restaurants, which calls for a $240 billion federal recovery fund to give restaurants a fighting chance to survive what is expected to be a prolonged recovery. To learn more and to let Congress know that you support recovery relief for the restaurant industry visit here and text RECOVERY to 52886.   


The USBG National Charity Foundation, committed to advance the lifelong stability and wellbeing of service industry professionals through education and charitable activities, is offering emergency grants for bartenders, their spouses, or their children through the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program (BEAP).  



Destinations International, a definitive resource for professional development and destination management, offers weekly coronavirus webinars featuring experts presenting the latest industry trends and insights.



VRLTA, a unified voice for restaurant, lodging, travel, and hospitality suppliers associations, is providing up-to-date news and factual information about COVID-19 and its impact on the travel and hospitality industries.  

Virginia Restaurant Promise

VRLTA, Virginia Department of Health, localities, and restaurants have partnered to develop the Virginia Restaurant Promise, a set of commitments to employees and customers. 

Reopening guidance requires restaurants to post signage detailing efforts to keep patrons and staff safe and healthy. VRLTA created the Virginia Restaurant Promise poster that you can download, print out and post. Click here for 8.5 x 11" or 11 x 17" or 22 x 28" version.

With the success of Virginia is for Restaurant Lovers Takeout Week, the initiative will be moving forward every Tuesday as Takeout Tuesday! Use the hashtags #TakeoutTuesdayVA and #VirginiaEatsLocal to promote via social media. 



Visit Williamsburg’s advertising agency, Connelly Partners, hosts a weekly Instagram Live Series, CP-in-7, to help brands navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. The series consists of 7-minute mini-lessons on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. EST via @connellypartners. Brands, businesses, and individuals are encouraged to submit questions the day before each session via the CP-in-7 Instagram story. 



In an effort to support area businesses, Tripadvisor has enabled opening and closing notifications on listings within its platform. These notifications can be manually customized through Tripadvisor’s management center.  

Tripadvisor has launched the first of several initiatives to provide immediate economic support to local communities, enabling diners and travelers to assist in the long-term recovery of travel and hospitality businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemicIt is now easier to purchase gift cards and identity restaurants that are still open for takeout and delivery on the platform. Gift card purchases, in particular, serve as much needed microloans to help operators pay rent, continue to pay employees, and fund benefits like healthcare, as well as other critical expenses. To learn more about Tripadvisor’s worldwide initiatives, click here



Visit Williamsburg recommends following guidance from the CDC regarding travel within the United States. Please click here for more information.


Last Updated:  6/04/20