NORFOLK, Va. – (October 2019) – Phillips Destination Management Company was founded in Norfolk in 1978 as a tour company showcasing the best offerings of Norfolk and surrounding areas. More than 40 years later, the third-generation, family owned and operated destination management company has expanded to attract leisure, group, corporate and convention visitors to experience the very best of the entire region.
The company recently changed its name to Discover Coastal VA to better reflect the full geographic area and everything the region and the company has to offer. The timing is optimal with 2019 on track to be a record-breaking year – with an average to date of 304,955 visitors per month – according to Virginia Tourism’s independent study by Vincent P. Magnini, Ph.D. executive director of Institute for Service Research.
A destination management company (DMC) offers extensive local knowledge, expertise and resources to design and implement events, activities, tours, transportation and program logistics. Working hand in hand with local convention and visitors’ bureaus, hotels, meeting and reunion planners, the DMC provides these services to incoming clients in the Coastal Virginia region. Discover Coastal VA was one of the first DMCs established in Virginia, and it remains the oldest continuously owned and operated in the Commonwealth.
“Our new name is an invitation to visitors and industry leaders who plan group travel to our beautiful region,” said Anne Phillips, president of Discover Coastal VA. “People come to discover Coastal Virginia’s unique offerings and are always so complimentary of the destination. We wanted a name that is representative of that. We are local market experts with deep connections into the region’s best attractions, venues and experiences. Our reputation in the industry is coupled with the highest level of precision in event and program logistics and operations.”
Tourism is competitive, and all cities have marketing arms focused on bringing large groups into their area to fill hotels, attractions and restaurants. Although each city has healthy marketing budgets, Virginia Tourism reports the number one information source for visitors is word of mouth.
“That’s why delivering that exceptional experience to our visitors is so important,” notes Brooke Phillips Garrett, vice president. “We want everyone who comes to our region, whether for business or leisure, to share their positive experiences with their professional and personal networks. They become our most valuable ambassadors for Coastal Virginia.”
Discover Coastal VA offers event production including design, décor, entertainment, catering, lighting/AV and transportation. Convention and meeting services include tours, entertainment, transportation, gift amenities and themed décor. Military reunions, motor coach tours and cruise line shore excursions are also a significant part of the business. And, when groups arrive, Discover Coastal VA knows how best to move them with transportation offerings from motor coaches to VIP private car shuttles.
Marjorie Phillips established the company in 1978 and her daughter in law, Anne, took the helm in 1998. Just a few years later Anne received her Destination Management Certified Professional (DMCP) designation and was the first with this qualification in Virginia. The company is a member of the Association of Destination Management Executives International. Brooke Phillips Garrett joined the company in 2006, and the mother-daughter duo continued to expand the company offerings, industry partnerships and professional affiliations, including Meeting Planners International and the American Bus Association. Today the company is the leading destination management company representing Coastal Virginia. For more information, visit DiscoverCoastalVA.com.