Waynesboro has some additional funds to promote tourism to the city thanks to a grant made available to Virginia’s destination marketing organizations.
The city received $10,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation WanderLove recovery grant program, a new grant made available across the Commonwealth to fund recovery marketing initiatives for those heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
$866,504 in marketing grant funds were awarded to 90 destination marketing organizations as part of the program.
The city said in a press release that it will use the VTC WanderLove grant funds to entice visitation to the area, as the city sits at the gateway to two of the most iconic road trips in Virginia — Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway. The campaign will inspire road trippers to discover the “Seven Wanders of Waynesboro.”
“We are excited to begin building our WanderLove campaign thanks to the generous support of the Virginia Tourism Corporation,” said Jennifer Callison, tourism and marketing manager for the city of Waynesboro. “We hope to leverage our strategic location in this initiative to encourage people to explore all of the fun, safe activities they can do in and around town.”
As Virginia begins reopening, there is a lot of pent-up demand for leisure travel and people are seeking safe, close-to-home destinations that allow for social distancing and access to open spaces. With this in mind, the WanderLove campaign provides travel inspiration for road trips, outdoor recreation, hidden gems, small towns and Virginia’s signature LOVEworks program.
“Virginia tourism is a critical sector of our economy and has been heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Gov. Ralph Northam. “Getting travelers back on the road and spending money in our cities and towns is one of the fastest ways to inject dollars back into our economy and our communities. The Virginia Tourism Corporation’s DMO WanderLove Recovery Grants gives localities the ability to market their destination as safe and welcoming when visitors are ready to resume travel.”
Tourism is one of the Commonwealth’s largest economic engines, with visitors to Waynesboro spending more than $37 million in 2018, supporting 371 work opportunities and contributing over $2.8 million in local and state tax revenue.