City of Fredericksburg releases draft tourism study

September 11, 2019 | Fredericksburg Business News, Fredericksburg City News | Tourism

Recommendations on how to enhance the City of Fredericksburg’s tourism-attraction efforts were unveiled Tuesday evening during a City Council work session.

Bill Geist, principal of Wisconsin-based DMOproz, presented the findings during an hour-long discussion at the work session. Geist’s firm spent significant time in Fredericksburg over the past several months to research the report entitled “Tourism 2020: Findings and Recommendations for the City of Fredericksburg VA.”

Among the report’s recommendations were for the City to hire a senior-level tourism manager, invest more money in tourism marketing, continue with a regional approach to tourism marketing while enhancing the City-only effort, and move the Visitor Center to a revamped space inside the Executive Plaza. The study can be read in full here.

The report is the culmination of three-years-worth of work to evaluate the City’s tourism-attraction efforts. In late 2016, the City organized a public forum to discuss regional tourism. The following year, the Fredericksburg Regional Tourism Partnership (FRTP) convened a group of regional tourism stakeholders (called the Tourism Advisory Council) to review the region’s tourism efforts. Among its recommendations was to “examine the regional structure and assets and make recommendations based on national-level industry knowledge.” Following the report, the City of Fredericksburg issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to firms experienced in advising communities on appropriate organizational structures and funding mechanisms for Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs). DMOproz was selected to conduct the analysis.

City staff and City Council will now begin the process of implementing the recommendations.

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