Youngkin Addresses Tourism Leaders at Loudoun Summit

Governor-elected Glenn Youngkin, who campaigned heavily in Loudoun, returned to the county again Monday night to deliver a speech during the 2021 VA1 Tourism Summit at the National Conference Center in Leesburg.

Youngkin’s speech echoed many themes of his campaign.

“We are going to declare Virginia open. We’re going to declare Virginia open for business. We’re going to declare Virginia open for dreams. We’re going to make sure that Virginia is thriving.  And so on day one there will not be any confusion that we are open for business,” Youngkin said.

Youngkin referred to avoiding business shutdowns, reducing taxes such as by eliminating the grocery tax, and hinted at cutting unemployment benefits for people in attempt to push people back into the workplace.

“I’m making sure that every able-bodied Virginian has the opportunity to get a job, but also is strongly encouraged to take a job,” Youngkin said. “This is an incredibly important part of our overall transition coming out of this pandemic. We have to get Virginians back to work.” So far states that cut expanded unemployment benefits have not seen an increase in labor participation, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

And Youngkin said he would seek to change the name of the annual gather of tourism leaders back to its previous name, the Virginia Governor’s Conference on Travel and Tourism.

The summit was hosted by the Virginia Tourism Corporation, the Virginia Restaurant Lodging and Travel Association, and the Virginia Association of Destination Marketing Organizations. The annual event was canceled last year because of health concerns related to COVID-19, but returned for 2021 with presentations and panel discussions. During the General Assembly Special Session in August, the Virginia Tourism Corporation received $50 million in federal ARPA funds, of which $30 million is to be divided among 133 localities in the state to bolster local tourism initiatives.

According to the Virginia Restaurant Lodging and Travel Association domestic travelers spent $27 billion on transportation, lodging, food, amusement and recreation, as well as retail shopping in Virginia during 2019. In 2020, tourism spending dipped to $17.5 billion. Now, in 2021, the industry is showing signs of recovery. 

2 thoughts on “Youngkin Addresses Tourism Leaders at Loudoun Summit

  • 2021-11-16 at 4:43 pm

    Mr. Youngkin is the last person to speak about making Loudoun more welcoming. He’s about as welcoming as an ingrown toenail. His racist dog-whistle “Parents Matter” is disgusting. Ditto for his son’s fraudulent attempts to vote on Nov. 2. (The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.) Yes, Mr. Youngkin will be Virginia’s next governor — largely due to a disinformation campaign that most Loudouners rejected. We’ll have to deal with him for four years. But love always triumphs in the end. Be gone, Mr. Youngkin. You have no power here. Happy Holidays, Loudoun!

  • 2021-11-17 at 11:50 am

    I’d like to the way the data suggests Youngkin’s ideas will make no difference. At least he got CRT out of the schools…nobody’s talking about that anymore.

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