It’s no secret, tourism in Virginia Beach means big bucks. City: here’s one way to thank those who work in it

Virginia Beach Oceanfront. (Joshua Weinstein/Southside Daily)

VIRGINIA BEACH — The economic impact of tourism here is undeniable: $2.45 billion in direct travel-related expenditures, $132 million in state and local tax revenue and 13,650 jobs which create a workforce of hospitality professionals who host millions of visitors.

That’s according to the city, and tourism officials said those workers “deserve thanks.”

So, the Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau said nominations are now open for the 2019 Virginia Beach Travel & Tourism Awards.

More than 30 awards – complete with bragging rights – are up for grabs. Send nominations by clicking here.

Submission deadline is March 1.

Hosted by the CVB and our industry partners, the awards program will be at the Virginia Beach Convention Center on May 8 in conjunction with National Travel and Tourism Week.

This year’s national theme is “Travel Matters.”

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John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.