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The Group Travel Leader Small Market Meetings Going on Faith

Virginia Beach draws the spotlight

Courtesy Virginia Beach CVB

Bank Travel Management publisher Mac Lacy headed to Virginia Beach in early July to spend a couple of days researching his travel feature on the destination for the September/October issue. Traditionally, every host city for this conference receives a major feature in September that is timed to coincide with fall registration for the event the following February.

“Jim Coggin in Virginia Beach and I have discussed this feature on several occasions, and I’m looking forward to a couple of days in the sun and on the water,” said Lacy. “Virginia Beach is one of the Atlantic coast’s most popular beach destinations, and I can’t wait to put my feet in the ocean there.”

Virginia Beach is expected to be a big draw for the BankTravel Conference, now in its 18th year. More than 70 percent of the bankers profiled in this issue’s BankTravel Directory indicate that they plan to attend the three-day conference. The BankTravel Conference is the largest gathering of banks and travel industry representatives in the country. Roughly 500 attendees are expected to gather there for business meetings, education, entertainment and networking opportunities.

Included on Lacy’s travel itinerary from the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau on day one is a visit to the city’s Military Aviation Museum, which may be the site for an evening event next February; a tour of Sandbridge and a discussion of eco-adventure options there for groups; an overview of Virginia Beach’s agritourism programs that includes a stop at Cullipher Farm; and a stop at the city’s Farmers Market.

Day two includes a visit to the Cape Henry Lighthouse, a stop at the Chesapeake Bay Center and First Landing State Park, and afternoon tours of the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Museum, the Old Coast Guard Station and the Sandler Center for Performing Arts.

Culinary stops in store for Lacy include lunch at Waterman’s, breakfast at the Pocahontas Pancake House and lunch at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

“Our upcoming September/October issue will be highlighted by this feature,” said Lacy. “We want every bank with a travel program in America to be there. Virginia Beach in February sounds good to me, I can tell you.”

Lacy will also be generating blogs and Twitter posts from Virginia Beach using his handle @GroupTravelMac.

Registration is open for BankTravel 2013, and banks are offered a $100 discount to register by Sept. 1. Take advantage of this discount today by calling Teresa Burton at 330-337-1027 or sending her an email at