Visit Loudoun garnered one of the top tourism awards in the country at the U.S. Travel Association’s 2021 conference in Los Angeles.
The tourism office, which represents Loudoun County and its incorporated towns, won Short-term Marketing Campaign of the Year for its 2019 Summer of Love campaign. The brainchild of the Visit Loudoun team, the campaign was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic “Virginia is for Lovers” slogan.
“This is arguably one of the most prestigious award selections in our industry and I am so incredibly proud of the team and this momentous achievement,” Visit Loudoun President and CEO Beth Erickson stated. “Love was at the heart of this creative and impactful campaign, and I’m thrilled that we were able to share and celebrate all there is to love in Loudoun.”
The Summer of Love campaign centered on a branded, vintage Volkswagen bus, thanks to a partnership with Lindsay Volkswagen. The bus traveled to 19 stops throughout the summer ranging from wineries and breweries to museums, town centers, and festivals, culminating with a day-long music festival that highlighted both local songwriters and Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root with his new band Uprooted.
In total, the U.S. Travel’s Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations included awards in 33 categories for excellence in destination marketing and inspiring visitation.
“I am absolutely thrilled for Visit Loudoun for its ESTO award,” stated Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “VTC’s 50 Years of Love and Visit Loudoun’s Summer of Love were a celebration of everything the Commonwealth had to offer the traveler, and this is well-deserved recognition. Loudoun County is a tourism powerhouse of creativity.”
The judges called the Summer of Love an “impressive campaign using physical and digital channels, made all the more impressive coming from the county and not an agency. … The use of the iconic VW bus, and tie with the Virginia is for Lovers slogan was clever. Good use of partnerships and pre-planned events. This was an ambitious effort full of details that added a more complete coverage of the county.”
The Summer of Love was competing against campaigns from Visit Austin and National Harbor.