VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY)- The resort city wants visitors to know they’re open and are working to make sure people have a safe yet fun vacation.

It’s part of the “Summer Smarter” campaign and the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau says it’s been working to get that message out.

“We’re trying to do everything on our end to promote that safe and clean experience,” said Tiffany Russell, who is the vice president of marketing communications with CVB.

Russell says that the Norfolk and Virginia Beach area has the highest overall hotel recovery rate in the country.

About 75 percent of those visiting the beach have already vacationed here before, she says, and they may notice some differences when they hit the Oceanfront — such as safety guideline signs about the coronavirus pandemic.

“They’ll see the clean team, the ambassador program, and at our local businesses, there’s a lot more messaging before entering a property whether it’s no mask, no service. The CVB has helped distribute as well as the ‘We’re Open’ signs,” she said. “We want visitors to know that you can come here and these businesses are open. They may have different hours or you may have to make appointments.”

Russell says that besides the beaches, indoor facilities such as the Virginia Aquarium, to iFly, to the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, are also open and practicing social distancing.

But, if visitors are still skeptical about places they wish to visit and stay, the CVB has provided a list of the safety procedures hotels and businesses are taking during this time on their website.

“We’ve put together on Visit Virginia Beach a list of all those businesses and it’s been amazing to watch visitors come to our website. They are spending a lot of time reading through what each business is doing. We’re still looking for more participation for the program,” Russell said.

In addition to the list, the tourist center will be passing out masks to visitors in the coming weeks, according to Russell. She says they are also working on virtual learning curriculum for families that are planning to stay a week or longer.

Overall, Russell says the city is a great destination spot for families due to affordability levels and hopes that people will take advantage of all they’re doing to make sure visitors stay safe.

“I want to make sure consumers who are coming to Virginia Beach are confident and feel assured that they know they can have a safe, clean but amazing vacation. We’re really proud of our efforts,” she said.

To learn more about the ‘Summer Smarter’ initiative and what steps hotels and businesses are taking in Virginia Beach, click here.

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