‘You are in, when you’re out’ video promotes RVA to LGBTQ tourists

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RICHMOND, Va. — In an effort to promote Richmond as a friendly travel destination for LGBTQ tourists, Richmond Region Tourism recently produced and posted a video on social media.

The two-minute clip has been viewed 40,000 times on the OutRVA Facebook page since it first posted February 18.

“OutRVA’s mission is to attract visitors to the Richmond Region. The video allows visitors to get a feel for the destination and see that Richmond is diverse and welcoming,” Erin Bagnell, spokeswoman with Richmond Region Tourism, said. “With the video, we wanted potential LGBT visitors to see that there is a strong and vibrant LGBT community here, and also that Richmond is a very diverse destination overall.”

The video features members of Richmond’s LGBT community who consider themselves “Out Insiders.” In addition to speaking in the video, these men and women have made themselves available to answer questions from potential visitors.

“I think Richmond is a great place to be out because of the amount of diversity I’ve seen, because of acceptance I’ve seen ,” Ayana Obika said in the video.

Ayana Obika

“It’s in. You are in when you’re out,” Carol Schall added. “That’s one of the best things about Richmond. You get to be a part of this really vibrant, really exciting city.”

Carol Schall

Bagnell said  LGBT tourists tend to travel more, stay longer and spend more money than the average visitor.

“Our primary focus is positioning the Region as welcoming and putting RVA on the LGBT travelers’ radar,” she said.

While Richmond Region Tourism could not offer examples of tourism marketing campaigns that targeted other specific groups like African-American tourists or Latino tourists, Bagnell said the group tried to showcase diversity in all of its marketing outreach.

“A great example is our recently-released culinary video featuring the amazing food and beverage scene in the Richmond Region,” she said.

“Research shows that a destination’s reputation for being LGBT-friendly is the primary motivator for selection,” she said “OutRVA gives us a vehicle through which to communicate to the LGBT community that Richmond is welcoming.”

The video is just one part of the OutRVA campaign.

“We are laying the groundwork for a campaign targeted toward LGBT families,” Bagnell said. “The Richmond Region is a wonderful and welcoming destination for all families and we want to make sure the LGBT community is aware.”