The Williamsburg Tourism Council (WTC) is pleased to announce that Vicki Cimino has been selected as their new Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer. After a 5-month search, the WTC voted unanimously to hire Ms. Cimino who will begin April 15, 2019. The Council is part of the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance.
Ms. Cimino is currently the Director of the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development and has spent the majority of her professional career providing communication solutions, counsel and creative direction to both government agencies and private sector organizations. Under her leadership, the Division has experienced an increased ROI on New Hampshire Live Free brand advertising from 10:1 to 12:1; increased direct visitor spending by four percent: and, increased Rooms and Meals tax revenue by 15 percent (FY2015-18).
The WTC was searching for someone who could bring innovative and creative leadership and a proven track record to help the Williamsburg destination increase overnight visitation. “With the creation of the WTC by Senate Bill 942, bringing the right leadership is the most critical decision the Council will make,” says Jeff Wassmer, Williamsburg Tourism Council Chair and York County Board of Supervisors member. “We have great confidence that Vicki will bring an impressive skill set that’s a great fit for our destination. We are confident we’ve made the right choice and are anxious to begin this new phase to expand tourism and increase visitation.”
“I am thrilled to be stepping into this role,” said Cimino. “Tourism is critical to the region’s economic vitality and I look forward to achieving WTC’s goal of increased visitor spending throughout the area.”
Ms. Cimino began her career in the tourism industry serving as the Communications Manager in the Division she now oversees. She then served as the Director of International Marketing for the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism. Her background also includes work with New York City-based Redpoint Marketing PR, Inc., and Boston-based Connelly Partners.
She will lead a staff of eight who make up the Office of Marketing and Promotions and manage an annual marketing and sales budget of approximately $9-12M which is generated from sales tax revenue approved by the Virginia General Assembly beginning July 2018.
The mission of the WTC is to “Strengthen Community through Tourism through increased Awareness, Affordability, Accessibility and Attractiveness”. Success is measured by overnight stays, admissions, and revenue to the City of Williamsburg, York and James City Counties, the three localities that make up the greater Williamsburg area.
The Williamsburg Tourism Council’s search committee included WTC members Douglas Pons, Vice Mayor, City of Williamsburg; Kevin Lembke, President, Busch Gardens Williamsburg; Dr. Mitchell Reiss, President, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; Kym Hall, Superintendent, Colonial National Historical Park; and, Jeanne Zeidler, Chair, Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance Board. Administrative support was provided by Ron Kirkland.