Virginia Beach Tourism Director Announces Retirement

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) announces that Jim Ricketts, long-time director of the CVB, has informed the City Manager of his plan to retire. Ricketts will continue to serve as the tourism department’s director until April 1, 2016.

While Ricketts’ professional background includes the U.S. Navy and the Norfolk Port and Industrial Authority, he has dedicated the majority of his career to the growth of the travel industry as an active member of the U.S. Travel Association. As director of the Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, Ricketts has served in numerous regional, state and national leadership capacities to include: Travel Industry Association of America Government Relations Committee (2004-2006), Virginia Tourism Corporation (Vice Chair, Board of Directors, 1998 and 2014), Southeast Tourism Society (Chairman, Board of Directors, 1995-1997), Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association (Board of Directors, 1994-1996), Virginia Delegate to the 1995 White House Conference on Travel and Tourism, Governor’s Commission on Development of the Virginia Travel and Tourism Industry (Chairman, Organizational Structure Committee), Virginia Travel Council (President, 1993), Atlantic Coastal Attractions (President, 1978) and Ocean Highway Association (Vice President, 1978).

“I began my professional career with the City of Virginia Beach in 1974, and I am proud to have been a part of the city’s growth and evolution into a first-class, year-round destination,” said Ricketts. “I am confident that the bureau is well positioned for its next phase of growth and development.”

The Virginia Beach tourism industry is responsible for $1.4 billion in direct travel-related expenditures and $115 million in state and local tax revenue. Under Ricketts’ leadership, the CVB has been honored four times with prestigious Destinations Council Destiny awards (1976, 1978, 1983 and 1989), the Travel and Tourism Research Association of America's J. Desmond Slattery Marketing Award (1992 and 2007) and the Southeast Tourism Society Shining Example Award five times. Ricketts is a founding member of the Coastal Virginia Tourism Alliance and is currently serving on the board of the U.S. Travel Association. This September, Ricketts received the honorable Dorothy Hardman Spirit of Southeast Tourism Society award, which recognizes professionals who epitomize the greatest attributes of the tourism industry.

“On behalf of the City, I would like to thank Jim for the dedication and tremendous commitment that he has given Virginia Beach,” said Virginia Beach City Manager Jim Spore. “The city is committed to conducting a thorough national search to identify the right candidate to serve as the bureau’s next director.”

About the Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau ( Where the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay meet, Virginia Beach promises visitors a unique chance to “Live the Life.” Nature at its finest, just-caught and just-picked local food, and toes-in-the-sand relaxation combine for a soul-satisfying experience. A world-renowned boardwalk, energetic downtown, state-of-the-art Convention Center, abundant parks and waterways, and mild weather give rise to an active lifestyle and flourishing local culture. The Virginia Beach CVB is responsible for promoting year-round leisure, business, meetings and conventions, international and sports travel to Virginia’s most populous city. For media information and images, visit  Follow Virginia Beach on Twitter at, Instagram at, Facebook at and Pinterest at

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