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Visit Fairfax Insider April, 2016
What's New, Marketing Sales & News, Tourism Industry News
Barry Biggar Visit Fairfax a Finalist in Greater Washington Innovation Awards
Paradise Springs Winery Cirque du Soleil's KURIOS heading to Tysons this summer
FXVA Logo National Travel & Tourism Week Returning in May
Businessman Visit Fairfax Sales Team Updates
Calendar Fairfax County Events Calendar
Roll Call Roll Call
Hilton logo Residence Inn Chantilly Dulles South Completes Renovation
Mint+ logo Embassy Suites by Hilton Springfield Honored
Tourism by the Numbers Fairfax County Tourism by the Numbers
What's New Header

Visit Fairfax Named a Finalist in Greater Washington Innovation Awards

2016 Greater Washington Innovation Awards Finalist
Visit Fairfax has been named a finalist in the upcoming Greater Washington Innovation Awards for the Storytellers Video Series. The campaign, which launched last October and continues to see engagement on FXVA.com and throughout other marketing channels, highlights the compelling stories of the people and places of Fairfax County. Visit Fairfax is nominated in the Marketing & Advertising Innovator of the Year category.

Presented by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce (formerly the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce), The Greater Washington Innovation Awards is the premier event celebrating the thought leadership, innovation and creativity of the individuals and organizations in select industries in the Greater Washington metro area.The awards ceremony will also honor Steve Case, Founder and Partner of Revolution Growth and co-founder and former CEO of AOL as the 2016 Lifetime Innovator, and Tobin Moore and Adam Vitarello, co-founders of Optoro, as Emerging Innovators of the Year. All winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on April 21, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Reston.

We are honored to be nominated alongside some exceptional innovators in the Washington metro area, including some of our very talented and deserving stakeholders: Tysons Corner Center, NOVA Parks, Children's Science Center, Marriott International and Northern Virginia Community College. Congratulations to all for your success and innovative ideas. Learn more at www.novachamber.org and read Visit Fairfax President & CEO Barry Biggar's thoughts on innovation right here.

Cirque du Soleil bringing KURIOS to Tysons this summer
Get ready, Tysons. Cirque du Soleil, the internationally-acclaimed acrobatics and theatrical company, is heading to the Lerner Town Square at Tysons II this summer with a new show: "KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities." The production, written and directed by Michel Laprise, will be performed under a 62-foot high big top from July 21 to August 21, 2016.

About KURIOS: In an alternate yet familiar past, in a place where wonders abound for those who trust their imagination, a Seeker discovers that in order to glimpse the marvels that lie just below the surface, we must first learn to close our eyes. In his larger-than-life curio cabinet, the Seeker is convinced that there exists a hidden, invisible world – a place where the craziest ideas and the grandest dreams lie waiting. A collection of otherworldly characters suddenly steps into his makeshift mechanical world. When the outlandish, benevolent characters turn his world upside down with a touch of poetry and humor in an attempt to ignite the Seeker's imagination, his curios jump to life one by one before his very eyes. What if by engaging our imagination and opening our minds we could unlock the door to a world of wonders?

Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to close to 160 million spectators in more than 400 cities in over sixty countries on six continents. In 2016, Cirque du Soleil will present 19 different shows around the world.

Cirque du Soleil - KURIOS
Learn more about the show here. Start thinking about how your business can take advantage of this month-long residency: packaged hotel rates, "dinner and a show" in your restaurant, transportation options, and/or discounted rates or value-added products for those who show their ticket stub, etc. Want help brainstorming? Give us a call.

National Travel and Tourism Week Returns this May
National Travel and Tourism Week
The first full week of May is annually recognized as National Travel and Tourism Week, a tradition first celebrated in 1984. Localized events are presented in cities, states and travel businesses nationwide to champion the power of travel. It was established as National Tourism Week when the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution in 1983 designating the week to be celebrated in May. In a White House ceremony, President Ronald Reagan signed a Presidential Proclamation urging citizens to observe the week with "the appropriate ceremonies and activities."

Since its establishment, the U.S. travel community has collectively marked the event in a number of creative ways, from staging local rallies and conducting media outreach to securing proclamations and resolutions from local legislative bodies. Get the National Travel & Tourism Week toolkit and learn more at http://www.ustravel.org.

Visit Fairfax is in the planning stages for National Travel & Tourism Week. Stay tuned to http://www.fxva.com/ for information about this exciting celebratory week.

Travel 16 Logo

No-Cost Opportunities for You from Visit Fairfax
Each of our attractions, restaurants, and hotels have the ability to control their own listing on www.fxva.com, which is an easy – and no cost – way for you to get additional exposure for your business. Take a look at your listing on www.fxva.com to make sure all of your information is updated and accurate.

You can edit, add, or remove content from this listing through a back-end extranet system. You can edit the description, post special offers and/or packages, update your visitor amenities, add social media links and more for no cost. If you need a log-in, or need to reset your password, please reach out to Ali Morris at amorris@fxva.com.
Marketing Sales & News Header

Visit Fairfax Sales Staff Busy Selling Fairfax County

The Visit Fairfax sales team is busy selling and promoting the county at various tradeshows and events. Here is a list of recent activities as well as what will be happening over the next few months:

Associations and Reunion Market:
    Rendezvous South trade show
  • In February, Visit Fairfax attended the Rendezvous South trade show, sponsored by ConventionSouth magazine, in Muscle Shoals, AL, to secure additional corporate, association and government leads. (see photo)
  • This month, Visit Fairfax will be spending two days in Richmond, VA, calling on Virginia state association clients, in search of more association meeting bookings.
  • Also this month, we'll travel with the Virginia Tourism Corporation and 12 of our fellow Virginia DMOs to the Raleigh, NC area to call on corporate and association accounts there, promoting Virginia as a great meeting destination.
  • In May, Visit Fairfax will host the Virginia Society of Association Executives (VSAE) for their annual meeting, along with three of our hotel partners: the Hilton Washington Dulles Airport, the Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles Hotel, and The Westin Washington Dulles Airport. This will be the first time in the group's 67 year history that this program has been held in Fairfax County, and will allow us to show more than 100 association executives and meeting planners the advantages of getting together here.
  • Also in May, we'll travel to New York City for the Smart Meetings "Smart Mart" event, to secure more corporate and association leads.
Tour and Travel Market:
    Active America
    Brazilian FAM
    Chinese FAM
  • For the first time, Visit Fairfax participated in Active America China in Fort Worth, Texas, a tradeshow designed to help bring Chinese Tour Operators to the US to boost business. We participated in 17 scheduled appointments on March 17 & 18 and networked with many more. For lead notes on this tradeshow please email mmcclure@fxva.com. (see photo)
  • Visit Fairfax hosted a Brazilian FAM through Capital Region USA on March 22 and 23 which included 5 travel agents from Sao Paulo who sell direct flights on United from Sao Paulo to Washington Dulles. By showing them all Fairfax County has to offer we hope to see a boost in direct-to-consumer sales in Brazil. Thank you to all the wonderful partners that participated in this FAM. (see photo)
  • Visit Fairfax hosted a Chinese FAM on March 30 organized by American International Travel Services through Capital Region USA. This FAM consisted of 25 representatives from 22 different Chinese tour companies. Thank you to all of the wonderful Fairfax County partners who helped make this FAM possible. (see photo)
  • Capital Region USA put on a sales mission to Shenzhen, Chengdu, and Xi'an, China which took place from March 27 - April 2. Shenzhen and Xi'an are both new market cities for Capital Region USA, which allowed Visit Fairfax to be one of the first within our region to sell our destination, as we hope to continue growing our Chinese visitation.
  • Visit Fairfax will be participating in a domestic sales mission with Virginia Tourism Corporation from April 10 - 15 to help refresh and inspire tour operators within our drive markets to create more tours to Fairfax County, Virginia. There will be 3 groups going to different drive markets including: Cleveland, Philadelphia, and North Carolina. If interested in receiving the lead notes from this sales mission, please email mmcclure@fxva.com.
Sports Market:
  • Visit Fairfax participated in the National Association of Sports Commissions webinar on March 14: National Veterans Golden Age Games. The featured presenter was Jeanene LeSure from NVGAG, who discussed the event's RFP and hot buttons relating to potential host destinations.
  • Visit Fairfax attended a Sport Virginia Workshop in Richmond on March 23, 2016. Featured sessions included "State of the Sports Industry, Trends and Best Practices in Sports Marketing" (Presented by: Lisa Delpy Neirotti, Ph.D., Director Sport Management Programs & MTA at The George Washington University) and "CVBs and Parks & Recreation: Working Together as an Economic Engine." Two representatives from Fairfax County's Park Authority attended the workshop.
  • We also conducted hotel and venue site inspections in March 2016 with MyHockey Tournaments, All Ethiopians Sport Association One, Fencing Sports Academy, and the Old Dominion Rottweiler Klub.
  • In March, Visit Fairfax also attended Fairfax County sports meetings relating to proposed fee increases for tournaments using rectangular fields at Park Authority and Public School sites.
  • This month, Visit Fairfax attended the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) Sports Symposium in Grand Rapids. One of the sports travel industry's largest tradeshows, the NASC Sports Symposium generates lead opportunities through appointments with sports event planners and decision-makers responsible for selecting destinations for state, regional, national, and international events.
Government Market:
  • Visit Fairfax will attend the Society of Government Meeting Planners (SGMP) National Education Conference in May 2016 in San Diego. SGMP NEC is the largest annual event in the government meetings industry.
Visitor Services:
  • Be on the lookout for your invitation to the spring Ambassador Tour. You won't want to miss it - it's a great way to get out there and see some of the sites and attractions Fairfax County has to offer. Plus, it's at NO COST to you.

Fairfax County Events Calendar
Please go to www.fxva.com/events for more details and updates. Keep up with seasonal happenings at http://www.fxva.com/things-to-do/seasonal-holidays/.

Got an event coming up? Submit your Fairfax County event listing using this form on our website.

Through April 17 The National Cherry Blossom Festival is in full swing in Washington, DC and events will continue through April 17. DC isn't the only place with blossoms, though. Check http://www.fxva.com/cherryblossom for details on the great events and blossom locations throughout Fairfax County.

Through April 17 Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus Extreme at EagleBank Arena (formerly Patriot Center)
April 14 Animal Feeding at the Nature Center at Hidden Pond Nature Center
April 15-May 9 Fairfax Spotlight on the Arts Festival in City of Fairfax
April 16 Pirate Fest at Lake Fairfax Park
April 16 New York Neo Futurists at The Alden Theatre
April 16 Bluebells at the Bend at Riverbend Park
April 16 Huntley Farm Day at Historic Huntley Meadows Park
April 17 Moscow Festival Ballet: Swan Lake at George Mason University Center for the Arts
April 17 Dave Kline Band at Creative Cauldron at ArtSpace Falls Church
April 20 Civil War Forum: "Honoring Those Who Served During the Civil War" at Fairfax Station Railroad Museum
April 21 John McCutcheon at The Barns at Wolf Trap
April 22 Cigar and Spirits Tasting at George Washington's Mount Vernon
April 22 The Northern Virginia International Film & Music Festival at The State Theatre
April 22 Art + Crafts: Art Making and Craft Beer at McLean Project for the Arts/McLean Community Center
April 23 Earth Day Celebration at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park
April 23-30 Historic Garden Week in Virginia at various locations
April 23-24 Virginia Opera: The Flying Dutchman at George Mason University's Center for the Arts
April 23 BB King Tribute Concert featuring Slam Allen at ArtSpace Herndon
April 24 Britain on the Green at Gunston Hall
April 24 Mutts Gone Nuts – A Comedy Dog Act at Reston Community Center
April 24 Bluegrass and BBQ at The Winery at Bull Run
April 26 Historic Garden Week in Virginia: Falls Church/Arlington House & Garden Tour at TBD Location
April 29 An Evening with Noah Gunderson at Jammin' Java
April 29 "Kaleidoscope," ValeArts Spring Art Show at Vale Schoolhouse
April 30  Fairfax Civil War Day at Civil War Interpretive Center at Historic Blenheim
April 30  Taste of Vienna at the Town of Vienna
April 30  Springfest at Workhouse Arts Center
April 30  Revolutionary War Encampment at George Washington's Mount Vernon

May 1 Howlin' Hemlock at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park
May 2 Garden Sprouts: Nature Playgroup at Green Spring Gardens
May 3 "Curious George" presented by TheatreWorks USA at George Mason University's Center for the Arts
May 4  Nejla Yasemin Yatkin – What Dreams May Come – In partnership with Dance Place at Reston Community Center
May 6 Salsa Dancing at The Winery at Bull Run
May 6-7 29th Annual Evening of Comedy at The Barns at Wolf Trap
May 7 Kite Festival: A Celebration of Spring at George Mason's Gunston Hall
May 7-8 Mother's Day Weekend at George Washington's Mount Vernon
May 7-8 Heritage India Festival at Dulles Expo & Conference Center
May 8 An Evening with Street Corner Symphony at Jammin' Java
May 8 Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel: Musical Pictures at George Mason University's Center for the Arts
May 8 Potpourri for Mum on Mother's Day at Sully Historic Site
May 8 Mother's Day Tea at Historic Green Spring Gardens Manor House
May 11 Little Tots at Fairfax Corner at The Plaza at Fairfax Corner
May 11 Casey Abrams with Eli Pafumi at Jammin' Java
May 12-June 12  "City of Angels" at NextStop Theatre Company          
May 13-15 Spring Wine Festival & Sunset Tour at George Washington's Mount Vernon
May 13-22 "Choose!! (A World Premiere)" at Workhouse Arts Center
May 14 Spring Farm Day at Frying Pan Farm Park
May 14 Spring Garden Day: The Big Plant Sale at Green Spring Gardens
May 15 The Avett Brothers at EagleBank Arena (formerly Patriot Center)
May 15 The Very Very Fun Storybook Tea Party at Hidden Oaks Nature Center
May 20  Bike to Work Day at Herndon Town Hall & other various locations
May 21 1771 Market Fair at Claude Moore Colonial Farm
May 21 Punjabi Mela 2016 at Bull Run Regional Park
May 21 McLean Day at Lewinsville Park
May 21 Wagon Ride: Journey to the Potomac River at Riverbend Park
May 21-22 Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival at Reston Town Center
May 25 Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros with Preservation Hall Jazz Band at Wolf Trap
May 28-30 Viva! Vienna! Festival at Town of Vienna/Church Street
May 28-Aug 21 Fiber National 2016 Exhibit at Workhouse Arts Center
May 29 18th Annual Ride of the Patriots begins at Patriot Harley-Davidson Fairfax
May 29 Wolf Trap Summer Blast Off at Wolf Trap
May 30  Falls Church Memorial Day Parade and Festival at Falls Church City Hall Grounds

June 2-5 36th Annual Herndon Festival at Town of Herndon
June 2-26 "Floyd Collins" at 1st Stage Tysons
June 3-19 "The Wind in the Willows" at Creative Cauldron at ArtSpace Falls Church
June 4-5 Vintage Virginia Wine & Food Festival at Bull Run Regional Park
June 4 Fountainhead Off-Road Half Marathon & 10K at Fountainhead Regional Park
June 4 Saturday Morning with the grandsons, Jr. at Jammin' Java
June 4 Family Fun: Daring Dragonflies at Green Spring Gardens
June 4 Campfire Saturdays: Stargazing at Burke Lake Park
June 4 NOVA Parks Trail Fest at Occoquan Regional Park
June 10-12 Celebrate Fairfax Featuring The B-52s, Plain White T's, and Living Colour at Fairfax County Government Center
June 10-12 Tinner Hill Blues Festival at City of Falls Church
June 10-11 Summer Escape at George Washington's Mount Vernon      
June 11 George Mason Day at George Mason's Gunston Hall
June 11 Dairy Farming at Walney: Butter & Cheese at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park
June 17-18 Taste of Reston at Reston Town Center
June 18 Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display at Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
June 18 Date Night: Chef's Table at Workhouse Arts Center
June 18-19 Father's Day Weekend at George Washington's Mount Vernon
June 18-19 NOVA Summer Brewfest at Bull Run Regional Park
June 19 Father's Day Family Fishing at Riverbend Park
June 23  Garden Tour & Tea at Historic Green Spring Gardens Manor House
June 24 Goodnight Walk: Owls at Hidden Oaks Nature Center
June 24-25 Stephen Kellogg's 6th Annual SK Family BBQ – 2 nights at Jammin' Java
June 25-26 Falls Walk Weekends at Great Falls Park

Roll Call
Roll Call

You may have recently spotted Visit Fairfax at or with:
  • Tending to business at a board meeting at Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles Hotel
  • Co-presenting about marketing partnerships at the Virginia Association of Museums conference in Williamsburg, VA with our friends at Gunston Hall
  • Meeting with the Town of Vienna's Marketing & Communications Manager to discuss partnership ideas
  • Learning about upcoming projects and events and meeting with the new Director of Marketing at the Workhouse Arts Center
  • Hosting a familiarization tour for 25 Chinese tour operators to show them potential business opportunities in Fairfax County
  • Sharing breakfast with members of the Hyatt House Falls Church sales team to discuss upcoming opportunities
  • Attending the 2016 National Cherry Blossom Festival press conference to kick off the festival's season
  • Participating in the committee meeting for the upcoming Workhouse Arts Center Craft Brew Fest
  • Talking Civil War Trails at the committee's regional meeting in Vienna
  • Working on upcoming marketing and operational ideas for Fairfax County's 275th Birthday at monthly meetings
  • Learning about the tour and sports markets with members of B.F. Saul Hospitality Group

A few upcoming groups coming soon to Fairfax County:
  • Virginian Elite Showcase Memorial Day Soccer Tournament – 2133 room nights
  • Cadillac & LaSalle Club Grand National – 1670 room nights
  • 2016 President's Day Capitol Hill Classic (Volleyball) – 1183 room nights
  • Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite Masons Annual Convention – 1057 room nights
  • Vietnam Helicopter Crew Members Association Reunion – 1040 room nights
  • USS Forrestal (CVA/AVT-59) Association Reunion – 705 room nights
  • National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT) Annual Conference – 662 room nights
  • Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship / Potomac District Winter Retreat –320 room nights
  • USS Gearing (DD-0710) Association Reunion – 185 room nights
  • 1st Battalion / 83rd Artillery Reunion – 165 room nights

If you'd like to meet our team to talk about how we can help you, please contact us at 703-790-0643. We'd love to help in any way we can.

Tourism Industry News Header

Residence Inn Chantilly Dulles South Completes Full Renovation

Residence Inn Room
Residence Inn Lobby
Residence Inn Chantilly Dulles South has undergone a complete renovation of its 123 suites and public spaces, transforming it into an upscale hotel, designed to enhance the comfort and lifestyle of travelers on the road today. The newly refreshed hotel offers guests flexible spaces and amenities to help maintain a healthy balance and routine while traveling.

The spacious, residential-style studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites offer accommodations that are larger than traditional hotel guestrooms. The spacious layout provides separate zones where guests can relax, work, eat, and sleep, thereby maintaining their routines while away from home. The updated kitchens outfitted with full-sized refrigerators and stainless steel appliances make living on the road easier for both business travelers on long stays and families on holiday. With a larger, expansive workspace, no cost high speed Internet access, and a multitude of easily accessible outlets, guests are able to work efficiently throughout the suite. New sectional sofas, 37-inch flat screen televisions and luxurious bathrooms with extra storage space make it possible for travelers to live and rest comfortably. Contemporary and stylish décor, featuring natural light and refreshing colors are all elements that improve guests' productivity and energy.

Conveying the same feeling of comfortable living on the road, the hotel's re-designed public spaces have been transformed into multi-functional living spaces where guests can relax or collaborate on their own terms. The new open communal living space allows guests to connect with friends, family or colleagues in a modern living room style lounge and around the firepit in the outdoor open-air living room. No cost Wi-Fi and private "nooks" with personal high-definition flat screen televisions provide a private/public work space outside of the suite.

Congratulations to the team at Residence Inn Chantilly Dulles South on this great accomplishment. Read the full release and/or learn more about the hotel.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Springfield Honored with National Brand Award

Congratulations to the Embassy Suites by Hilton Springfield for recently being honored with a Hilton National Brand Award.

Embassy Suites by Hilton, one of Hilton Worldwide's13 market-leading brands, recently announced the winners of its global brand awards. Embassy Suites by Hilton Springfield, an upscale, all-suites Hilton hotel, has won the Connie Award for Highest Cleanliness of Guest Suites, Highest Breakfast Experience and Highest Overall Experience.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Springfield was presented with the award based on three key components: quality assurance audits measuring cleanliness, condition and brand standards; customer fulfillment scores rating staff service; and the quality of the hotel's physical accommodations. This year marks the FIRST time that the Embassy Suites by Hilton Springfield has received the honor.

Embassy Suites - 2015 Connie Award Winner
"I am honored to work alongside the dedicated and ambitious team that made this award possible," said Jarratt Watkins, General Manager of the Embassy Suites by Hilton Springfield. "We endeavor not only to be a pillar within our community but also to contribute to the high regard of the entire Embassy Suites by Hilton brand."

Read the full release and/or learn more about the hotel.

Congratulations to Mr. Watkins and his entire team at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Springfield. We are proud of your well-deserved success and of the warm hospitality you bring to Fairfax County.

If you have any local or national industry news to share, please send it to amorris@fxva.com so we can help spread the word. Thank you.

Fairfax County Tourism Indicators

Tourism Indicator
Fiscal YTD* through December 31, 2015
  • Occupancy: 65.3%
  • Room Night Leads: 62,636
  • Website Unique Visitors: 341,804

* FY16: July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016

Did you know?
  • Fairfax County is one of the top contributors of expenditures to Virginia's tourism industry.
  • Visitors to Fairfax County contributed over $2.85 billion to the local economy in 2014.
  • Fairfax County's tourism industry creates almost 30,000 jobs within the County.
  • On average, visitors to our website clicked on and viewed individual stakeholder listings approximately 50,000 times per month. Ask us how to maximize your property's results.

Source: Virginia Tourism Corporation's Tourism Economic Impact Data

*Share your information with us. Is there something you would like to share with the Fairfax County tourism community? Send your news to Visit Fairfax so that we can include it in the next newsletter. Email amorris@fxva.com.

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