Issuing Organization: Williamsburg Tourism Council (WTC)/Visit Williamsburg

Period of Contract: July 1, 2024 through June 30, 2025

(With four one-year options by WTC to extend the contract)

Proposal Deadline:      Wednesday, March 27, 2024 * must be received no later than 4:00 p.m.*

Web link:


The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to enter into an (“Agreement” or “Con- tract”)

with a qualified creative and paid media agency to provide Sports/Events marketing and media

services for Visit Williamsburg.

The organization’s primary objective is to increase overnight visitation to Williamsburg, Virginia

(the Historic Triangle), a travel region comprised of three municipalities – the City of

Williamsburg, York County, and James City County.

Goals include:

• Increase overnight visitation

• Increase destination awareness

•  Improve impressions of the destination

•  Establish Williamsburg as a premier U.S. travel destination

• Increase tax revenue

•  Unify the region under the Destination Marketing Organization’s (DMO) tourism brand and strategy

•  Improve reporting, analytics, and data-driven optimization of marketing efforts

•  Bolster international marketing efforts

The Selected Vendor will provide and execute against the strategic creative direction, ensuring

Visit Williamsburg’s brand is successfully leveraged and conveyed across all programs and channels,  creating a framework for contracted partners, including public relations firms, international  marketing partners, and digital vendors.

The Selected Vendor will engage in creative planning, executing against the strategic plan to 

successfully achieve the goals of increasing destination occupancy through multiple tactics and 

daily programming initiatives.

The Selected Vendor will have a proven ability to successfully achieve business goals and

impactful, measurable, creative work.

The Selected Vendor must appreciate the opportunities and challenges related to working with a

highly visible DMO, one that is tasked with continually representing and improving the region’s

economic vitality.


The Virginia General Assembly created the Williamsburg Tourism Council in 2018 to singularly

focus on driving accommodation and tax revenues in the destination as the replacement for an

existing  tourism committee. The Williamsburg Tourism Council, dba Visit Williamsburg’s main

focus is to  market and promote overnight visitation to the City of Williamsburg, James City County, and York  County (the Historic Triangle).

Funding for the Williamsburg Tourism Council was established in the statute. The sales tax within

the Historic Triangle area was increased by 1%, with 50% of the sales tax increase funding the

Williamsburg Tourism Council. Additionally, $1 of a $2 transient occupancy tax is allocated to the

Williamsburg Tourism Council to fund operations. These funds collected are directed toward

marketing, sales, public relations, advertising, and promoting the area.


One of America’s favorite family destinations, the Williamsburg region includes Jamestown,

Williamsburg, and Yorktown, offering a unique connection of contemporary and historical

experiences. Visitors can choose from hands-on interactive attractions, scenic outdoor

adventures,  abundant food and craft beverage options, world–class arts and culture experiences,

making  Williamsburg a must-visit destination for travelers of all ages.

Area Attractions Include:

•  Busch Gardens®: An action-packed, European-themed adventure park with 17th-century charm

and  21st-century technology, boasting more than 100 acres of fun-filled exploration of actors in period  costumes around every corner.

•  The College of William & Mary: The second oldest university in the United States and a

cutting-edge research university, the College of William & Mary is situated on 1,200 acres in

historic downtown Williamsburg and surrounded by wondrous beauty within its architecture and

rich culture.

•  Colonial Williamsburg: Colonial Williamsburg interprets Virginia’s 18th-century capital of Wil-

Williamsburg, VA., as a 21st-century center for history and citizenship with more than 400 re-

stored or reconstructed buildings, museums, and educational programs. With more than 300 acres

to, and active archeological digs, history unearths in real-time in Colonial Wil- liamsburg.

•  Historic Jamestown: The site of America’s first permanent English settlement, Historic Jame-

stown continues to make history as an active archeological dig site, offering a tour with the

archaeologist or a behind-the-scenes tour in the lab with the curator.

•  Jamestown Settlement: Traces America’s beginnings and the distinct cultures that converged to

form our nation. Through expansive gallery exhibits, film, and historical interpretation of outdoor

re-creations of the three ships that sailed to Virginia in 1607, the colonial fort, and a Powhatan

Indian village. Complete with reenactments of historical day-to-day activities of survival and


•  Water Country USA®: Virginia’s largest water park offering live entertainment, water rides, and

attractions, all with a retro surf theme.

•  Yorktown Battlefield: The National Park Service welcomes visitors to explore interpreted trails

and sites from the last major battle of the American Revolution.

•  American Revolution Museum at Yorktown: The American Revolution is chronicled through exhibits,

films, a re-created military encampment, and a Revolution-era farm. The site was completely

rebuilt in 2016, offering new exhibition galleries and expanded outdoor living and historical areas.

•  A new sports and event center is planned for completion in 2026 and will be a premier

destination for sports and event tourism. The venue will be an approximately 200,000- square-foot

indoor Sports Center in the Williamsburg – James City County – York County region. The facility

will include hardcourt space to support 12 basketball courts, convertible to 24 volleyball courts

and 36 pickleball courts, with ceiling-mounted basketball goals, volleyball nets, court dividers,

scoreboards, and shot clocks, and able to accommodate other large sports and events activities.

The Sports Center will include first-class entertainment areas to support tourism activity and

provide additional amenities for local residents. There will be a state-of-the-art indoor rollout turf

system sized to cover the entire hardcourt space, providing significant flexibility for indoor

soccer, field hockey, football, and lacrosse, amongst countless other sporting events. There will

be dedicated space to support visitors, spectators, team arrivals, gathering, viewing areas, food

and beverage, administration, and registration. The Sports & Event Center will also include an

interactive gym and play areas along with event space capable of hosting parties and special


•  In addition to the area’s historical attractions, Williamsburg, Virginia, offers culinary

experiences, more than a dozen golf courses, shopping, scenic beauty, and outdoor adventures

that collectively come together to create one of the top vacation destinations in the world.

For additional information about the region, go to


Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) research reports can be found at In addition, the VTC’s statewide tourism plan is

located at

U.S. Travel Association resources are available at


“Selected Vendor” refers to the Offeror under this Request for Proposals (RFP) with which the Wil-

liamsburg Tourism Council (WTC) negotiates a contract. The terms in this RFP referring to “Selected

Vendor” represents contract terms that will be a part of the final contract.

“Offeror” refers to any individual, corporation, partnership, or agency that responds in writing to

this RFP. “Commonwealth” refers to the Commonwealth of Virginia; “WTC” refers to the Williams- burg Tourism Council.

The “Contract” is the resulting contract entered into between WTC and the successful Offeror.


Visit Williamsburg is seeking a single Contractor (Offeror) to serve as the DMO’s Sports/Events

Advertising agency of record from July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2025, with four one-year options by the

WTC to extend the contract.

Using a $2 million funding level, proposals must be based on a 12-month period of time and

address all deliverables outlined within this document, including strategic planning, creative

development, and production, editorial content for owned/earned media channels, media

planning and buying, search, and digital (including website development, hosting, and maintenance).

Deliverables will be produced for the WTC to meet business objectives, i.e., increase overnight

visitation and tax revenue. Additionally, WTC will share creative assets with the region’s tourism

suppliers for use in promotional efforts.

In some instances, the Contractor may choose a subcontractor(s) to perform these services – at

other times, WTC may request the hiring of a specific subcontractor to perform these services.

WTC must provide final approval of all subcontractors chosen.

The Contract will be non-exclusive. WTC reserves the right to provide or contract for any of these

services via another source.


•  Dedicated, daily account management team with in-depth attention to organizing, planning,

supervising, and reviewing all WTC projects and budgets

•  Dedicated creative and production staff focused specifically on the WTC account

•  For the term of the contract, to include a renewal period, the Vendor will not change the

primary or secondary staff assigned to the WTC, with the exception of employee departures,

without the WTC’s prior written permission

•  The WTC will have the ability to interview and approve new staff assigned to the account

•  Participate in planning and budget review meetings with the WTC to ensure direction and budget 


•  Lead weekly status meetings

•  Development of specific reports that may include Campaign Reports, Weekly Status, Budget

Updates, etc.

Accounting and Billing

1. The Vendor will furnish to the WTC, in advance, a written cost estimate of all expenditures in

connection with all services or projects recommended by the Vendor or requested by the WTC that are not included in the retainer fee prior to undertaking any projects, or committing any WTC funds,

the Vendor must obtain written authorization from the WTC.

2. All out-of-pocket expenses are paid to the Vendor on a reimbursable basis and must have itemized receipts to be reimbursed.

a. All reimbursable expenses (out-of-pocket expenses (OOPs)) cited must be accompanied by the

WTC’s  written authorization and justification for any budget overages that may have occurred.

3. The Vendor shall prepare and deliver to the WTC an invoice with an accounting of expenditures

for the previous month; all invoices are to be submitted monthly no later than the 20th of the

month following the expenditure unless agreed upon by all parties.

a. All invoices submitted to the WTC for payment must be itemized, sorted by project, and

accompanied by all relative backup materials.

b. All invoices submitted to the WTC by the Vendor must show the contract and invoice numbers.

•  Failure to provide identifiable billing descriptions will result in the invoice being returned

to the Vendor

•  The WTC will not be liable for any resulting delays in payment

•  Invoices must be submitted to: Williamsburg Tourism Council

ATTN: Lori Ottarson /Accounts Payable 421 North Boundary Street Williamsburg, VA 23185

•  or email

Strategic Planning

•  Prepare strategic plan(s), facilitate strategic planning that supports and aligns with WTC’s

strategic plan and goals, and engage in consumer studies.

•  Utilize available research, prior media plans, campaign reports, and industry trends

•  All strategies must be based on sound research

•  Solicit input with key stakeholders

•  Assist WTC staff in sharing the plan, including presentations, participation in select meetings,

and hard-copy /collateral materials.

•  Develop and execute an industry cooperative marketing program to extend WTC’s reach and to

provide industry partners with effective and affordable paid media opportunities

•  Provide WTC industry partner outreach regarding cooperative advertising opportunities and media  education

•  Determine and report Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Creative Development

•  Create and deliver brand via paid, owned, and earned channels

o Vehicles include but are not limited to, broadcast/video, digital, print, event, and brand

activations, social media, and out-of-home

•  Creative must promote the region’s tourism that supports and aligns with WTC’s Strategic plan

and goals, driving overnight visitation to the destination. 


•  Execute campaigns that accurately address the region’s product and brand positioning

•  Create and inventory photography/video assets

•  Maintain timelines and meet deadlines while keeping all appropriate WTC staff informed of

project status

o Assets will be used in all creative execution, public relations, sales, and international


o Maintain and utilize a detailed Rights Management Program for photography, video, music, and  talent

o Develop policies and procedures for industry use

Media Planning and Buying

•  Develop annual media calendar and paid search advertising

o Media buying and execution

▪  Negotiation, placement, trafficking, invoice management/reconciliation, budget management,

and  daily/weekly updates

▪  Provide schedule to WTC in advance for written approval

▪  Include private-sector cooperative marketing campaigns to support the overall  strategy

▪  Pay media costs prior to reimbursement by the WTC

•  Implement tracking mechanisms in order to measure KPIs

•  Provide ongoing counsel relative to media consumption habits

International Marketing

•  In coordination with WTC staff, work with the global travel trade and U.S.-based receptive

operators to promote tourism product

•  Represent the region at select trade shows and events

•  Develop marketing and sales materials, as well as destination training presentations


•  Develop creative strategy across digital, social, and mobile channels

•  Create responsive website designs, connecting users to the brand and advertising


•  Implement and maximize content management solutions across WTC’s portfolio of websites

•  Ensure compliance and accessibility across all WTC websites

•  Provide hosting services for all WTC websites


All artwork, electronic files, data, databases, photography, video, reports, and materials used,

created, or produced during this contract’s duration are the property of the WTC and cannot be

used  by the Offeror for any use other than fulfilling the obligations of this contract without the

WTC’s prior written consent.

•  Offeror may not sell or share any of the above items

•  All WTC property must be turned over to the WTC within ten (10) business days upon completion

or termination of the contract in a format to be determined by the WTC


Proposed Timetable

Request for Proposals Issued        Friday, March 1, 2024

Deadline for Questions            Wednesday, March 13, 2024 Amendment 1 Issuance (if applicable)   

Monday, March 18, 2024

Proposals Due                 Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Invitations to Present             Friday, April 5, 2024

Presentations                 Monday, April 15 – Friday, April 19, 2024

Negotiations                  Monday, April 22 – Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Contract Commencement          Monday, July 1, 2024

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