McAuliffe establishes task force to promote LGBT tourism in Va.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Monday that he will create a LGBT Tourism Task Force to promote Virginia as a tourism destination for gays and lesbians.

The announcement came at the 2014 Virginia-1 Tourism Summit in Reston. The task force will be led by Commerce and Trade Secretary Maurice Jones and will be composed of business leaders, tourism industry representatives and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

In a news release, McAuliffe stated, “We have an opportunity to build upon the progress Virginia made this year in achieving marriage equality and ensure that visitors across the globe know that the Commonwealth is open and welcoming to all.”

VA-1 is Virginia’s annual summit on how to improve and expand the state’s $21.5 billion tourism industry. More than 400 people are attending the conference held Monday and today. Topics under discussion include how to build music festivals, ecological tourism and marketing weddings in Virginia.