The Floricane team -- partnering with Peter Fraser and Lauren Stewart -- has been working since January to help shape and develop a regional tourism vision plan for the Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau (RMCVB). The Times-Dispatch's Peter Bacque wrote a fairly comprehensive piece on some of the elements emerging in the plan; even though we still have several more meetings before a final draft will be presented to the RMCVB board, Bacque hits the right notes.
The point of emphasis for the plan is that Richmond doesn't lack in tourism assets -- attractions, restaurants, hotels, events -- but that as a region we do a relatively poor job ensuring that the 6 million visitors who pass through the area each year have a consistently excellent experience. RMCVB's primary focus has been on successfuly marketing the Richmond region to potential visitors, and filling the Convention Center. The vision plan suggests that RMCVB will need to add a third leg to its stool -- helping shape and manage the visitor experience -- for the Richmond region to become the American destination for the next century.
And that piece -- the Richmond region as the American destination -- is the real vision. Our city and surrounding counties have the raw material -- historical, architectural and cultural -- to be seen as one of the singular American cities, and a must-see destination for anyone interested in experiencing the fullness of the American experience, past and present.
Bacque captures the nuts-and-bolts of it in his article; we'll share more about the vision itself once the RMCVB board signs off on it.