Elevating Tourism Marketing through
Memorable Brand Experiences

by Sarah Hughes

Visit Norfolk

What you'll discover
when watching Sarah's story

Meet Sarah Hughes

Meet Sarah Hughes - Vice President of Marketing and Communication @ Visit Norfolk

Sarah Hughes is the Vice President of Marketing and Communication at VisitNorfolk, the official destination marketing organization for Norfolk, Virginia that is responsible for promoting year-round leisure, business, meetings conventions, and sports travel to the heart of the 757 region.

Sarah has over 10 years of professional experience in the travel and tourism industry. Her marketing began with an internship at a specialized agency, eventually leading her to focus on promoting various destinations across the United States.

She specializes in community engagement while having strong project management skills. Also, she is passionate about helping small businesses tell their story through media relations and marketing. 

As VisitNorfolk’s CMO, Sarah now leads the marketing and communication efforts to attract visitors and boost tourism in the city.

Under Sarah’s leadership, Visit Norfolk has seen significant success, with tourism contributing $1.3 billion to the city’s economy in 2022. Moreover, Sarah emphasizes the importance of branding to differentiate Norfolk as the “mermaid city” and continuously creates engaging content to highlight the city’s attractions and local businesses.

Check out Sarah Hughes's thoughts on content marketing

When it comes to marketers using AI to become more effective, Sarah shares:

"Marketers can leverage AI as a powerful tool for brainstorming and idea generation, providing a starting point for bringing concepts to fruition. This not only saves time but also helps marketers overcome the challenge of starting from a blank page."

She also shares about how to keep your brand fresh over time:

"Branding is extremely important. Every destination wants to showcase some type of culinary aspect or a museum that they have."

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