Travel and tourism expert André Xavier joined me on The I Love CVille Show powered by Greenberry’s Coffee at Barracks Road, the talented Dr. Scott Wagner of Scott Wagner Chiropractic and Sports Medicine, trusted real estate firm Roy Wheeler Realty Co. and Intrastate Inc., a home’s best friend!
Here are some of the topics we covered:
(1). Who is Andre Xavier the husband, the dad, the entrepreneur and the passionate Charlottesville lover?
(3). What is your background? Why did you start your businesses? What brought you to CVille?
(4). CVille Hop On Tours is an EPIC/Awesome company. How did you meet your charismatic co-founder Jon Craig? Why have you enjoyed such explosive growth?
(5). You and Jon Craig have expanded CVille Hop On Tours outside the CVille market to Harrisonburg and Richmond, which I think is super cool! How did you get to this point? Why expand to other markets? Please explain your trials and tribulations in expanding your business. Please educate the entrepreneurs who are watching in what you did well and what you would do differently.
(6). What are the next strategies and steps for your vertically-integrated travel and tourism business?
(7). What’s it like working with a partner in business? What advice would you give the entrepreneurs about working alongside a co-owner? Should you launch a business with a friend or someone that is more an acquaintance than friend?
(8). In regards to Charlottesville and Central Virginia, we are at a cross-roads with our image and our brand. The Charlottesville brand needs much strategic work, especially at the regional and national level. Lets start open-ended first, Andre. What are your thoughts on the Charlottesville brand from a regional and national level?
(9). Okay, lets talk specifics now, please. Adam Healey is the interim director of the CACVB. He previously was the CEO of the wedding website Borrowed & Blue. Is Adam Healey the right person for the job? What is he doing well? What is he not doing well?
(10). What did you think of the recently released CACVB campaign that featured a handful of only white people at vineyards around Central Virginia?
(11). This campaign has seen a lot of backlash. Is the backlash deserved?
(12). Should the CACVB be spending tens of thousands of dollars with a Raleigh, North Carolina based advertising agency (Clean) to create, develop and grow the Charlottesville, Virginia regional and national brand? There are many talented people who live in and around Charlottesville and Central Virginia. Should these talented folks be considered for this campaign?
(13). What can be done differently with this campaign? What should the campaign look like?
(14). The CACVB now has many politicians from CVille and Albemarle County calling the shots on the board of directors. Is this a good idea?
(15). How do we include Albemarle County into this campaign? Should the campaign only mention Charlottesville or should Albemarle County also be included in the campaign?
(16). What are the geographical areas you would position this campaign in front of to drive tourism ROI to Central Virginia?
(17). Our current City Council is focused on renaming streets, parks and statues, and perhaps not as focused on driving economic growth to the region. What are your thoughts on this topic?
(18). How do we return Charlottesville, Virginia to the “Happiest City In America?”
(19). I think Andre Xavier should be a key point-of-contact for any tourism campaign in Central Virginia. He’s an experienced tourism entrepreneur. Andre, would you be willing to join the conversation and allocate your time to help Charlottesville, Virginia and Albemarle County on the regional and national level?
(20). Andre suggested re-opening the kiosk on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall that once served as a Welcome Center for CVille. I think this is a brilliant idea!! The current CVille Welcome Center is hidden in a bus station, at the wrong side of The Mall and is often surrounded by homeless people who are drinking and/or drunk. It’s the least welcoming welcome center I have ever seen.
(21). Andre offered to volunteer his time at the welcome center and to staff the welcome center himself and with his team members. This is a genius idea!
(22). While we were talking about this welcome center, Roy Wheeler super agent Katelyn Mancini also volunteered her time to staff the welcome center, which is SOOO AWESOME! Katelyn is the definition of a perfect person for the welcome center. She’s knowledgeable, approachable and cares vehemently about Charlottesville and Central Virginia.
(23). I closed the program with an emotional response about improving Charlottesville, Virginia. I love our town with the same passion I feel for my beautiful wife. It’s paramount that our elected officials and the CACVB consider the human capital we have in Central Virginia. We have thousands of talented people who can conceive, design, build and execute an advertising campaign that would run circles around the Clean proposed ideas. Furthermore, these folks are local CVillians who would also come at a price point that is much more affordable than what tax payers are allocating to Clean, an unknown out-of-market advertising agency from Raleigh, North Carolina.
CACVB, please listen closely to this interview. PLEASE.
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