May 16, 2024

Tourism Industry Recognized at the 2024 National Travel and Tourism Awards

Hospitality heroes who work in the Virginia Beach tourism industry were recognized and thanked at the annual luncheon on May 2.

NTTW Luncheon at the VB Convention Center

National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) is a widely celebrated annual tradition for the U.S. travel community and here locally in Virginia Beach. It’s a time when travel, tourism and hospitality professionals come together to celebrate the importance the industry holds for Virginia Beach’s economy, businesses and even personal well-being. 

In 2022, front-line hospitality professionals helped introduce Virginia Beach to an estimated 13.64 million visitors according to Tourism Economics. These visitors spent $2.4 billion in Virginia Beach, resulting in a total economic impact of $3.7 billion. This tourism activity sustained more than 32,000 jobs, or about 19% of all jobs in the city.  

In addition, tourism spending contributed $324 million in state and local tax revenues during the same year, offsetting local annual taxes by $1,754 per Virginia Beach household. 

National Travel and Tourism Week Celebration 

The Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) honored the hospitality heroes who make all that possible and celebrated NTTW early this year with nearly 400 members of the travel and tourism industry at the annual luncheon and awards ceremony on May 2 at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. 

Hospitality heroes in 14 categories were nominated by their peers and vetted by an independent selection committee. 

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2024 National Travel and Tourism Awards: 

  • Saoussan Afrit, Doubletree by Hilton Virginia Beach 
  • Sade Allsbrook, Homewood Suites by Hilton Virginia Beach/Norfolk Airport 
  • Beverly Arbogast, Tides Coastal Kitchen, Delta Virginia Beach Waterfront 
  • Rita Addico Cohen, Tidewater African Cultural Alliance 
  • Julie Bernheisel, The Westin Virginia Beach Town Center 
  • James Farrell, The Stockpot Virginia Beach 
  • Bernard Fon, Fairfield Inn & Suites 
  • John Lesko, BeachEvents/IMGoing 
  • Michael Moore, Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center 
  • Jerome Owens, Navy Lodge Oceana Dam Neck Annex 
  • Alex Parness, The Westin Virginia Beach Town Center 
  • Christopher Tomicich, Cavalier Resort 
  • Luke Rhodes, Hyatt Place Virginia Beach Oceanfront 
  • Laura Wood, ViBe Creative District 
  • Mia Wroten, Hemingway’s/Holiday Inn Oceanside 

Get Connected  

Are you a local business owner? The Partner Pipeline is the official CVB business-to-business platform where businesses can access growth opportunities, receive market research, gain visibility, network with other tourism industry partners and more. Create your account today.   

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