We attended the recent regional tourism meeting, where we heard successes from both the Richmond and Roanoke regional alliances. We believe that adopting a similar model is vital for maintaining the Fredericksburg region’s competitive advantage.

We should consider a more broadened, regional marketing approach offering a wide range of experiences for multi-generational consumers. If we take a regional approach, we avoid stagnation and further stimulate growth through attendance and increasing revenue for all our assets. It is not about one segment against another. To have a winner does not mean we must have a loser.

This is a win–win for our region. This partnership will involve the development of a formal relationship that includes the sharing of power, work, marketing and funding to achieve common goals and mutual benefits. The results of regional partnerships can be flexible and innovative, achieving higher levels of efficiency and economies of scale.

The tourism industry is subject to increasingly sophisticated demands. A formal arrangement via a 501(c)(3) model allows for the development of a strategic vision, determined staff and partners, and most importantly the potential for a dedicated funding stream that would support a strategic regional tourism plan.

Let’s identify our most authentic and unique assets and collaboratively market them with a budget shared among our regional partners.

Let’s create an environment where we all succeed, even under-represented markets that will benefit from the successes of the whole.

Let’s not get lost in our history, but enjoy a shared vision of our future, one where our consumers remember us by their experience and leave wanting more.