$2.7 million in grants to support economic recovery, tourism programs in Virginia

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) – To kick off National Travel and Tourism Week, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin announced Monday that more than $2.7 million in matching grant and reimbursable sponsorship funds is going to over 250 tourism programs around the commonwealth.

The funding programs aim to increase visitation and traveler spending while bolstering economic recovery as businesses continue to rebound from pandemic hits.

Harrisonburg’s Tourism and Visitor Services received one of these grants for $30,000 for two programs. The “Meet in the Friendly City” grant will be used to promote meetings, conferences, and events, like weddings and reunions, while the “Your Basecamp to Adventure” grant focuses on highlighting outdoor opportunities in Harrisonburg.

Harrisonburg’s Tourism Manager Jennifer Bell said the $30,000 will be used to advertise in magazines, Trip Advisor, podcasts, and “host an influence.” She said it will help the Friendly City get exposure among new audiences.

“Part of our marketing is also to make sure people realize all the things they can do here so they don’t just stop in, have a meal and move on or stop in and stay overnight,” Bell said. “But instead they stay longer and spend more money in our community.”

Bell said this large grant can make an impact on all businesses in the city, using the Hub and Spoke business model.

“We highlight an aspect of the community, like downtown Harrisonburg as the hub, and then you talk about the spokes, the various businesses and attractions in the area to give a broad picture of what people can do in the area,” Bell said. “Tie in a visit with not just one specific thing, but a lot of things in the community.”

Partners may consist of Virginia cities, towns, counties, convention and visitors’ bureaus, chambers of commerce, other local or regional destination marketing organizations, private businesses, museums, attractions, cultural events, and other tourism-related businesses.

“Virginia’s tourism industry has been unrelenting in its recovery efforts, developing innovative and best-in-class strategies to bolster the economy. These grant funds will help continue that momentum, further underscoring that Virginia is open for business and is the best place to live, work, and travel,” Governor Glenn Youngkin said in a press release.

See below for other programs in the Valley that received grants:

– $5,000 to Barren Ridge Vineyards LLC in Fishersville, “Balade Gourmande at Barren Ridge Vineyards”

– $10,000 to Black Bear Productions LLC in Mount Solon, “Red Wing Roots Music Festival”

– $5,000 to County of Page, “WHY Page County”

– $10,000 to Discover Shenandoah in Luray, “72 Hours on the Blue Ridge Whisky Wine Loop”

– $10,000 to Encore Event Partners LLC in Winchester, “Taste of Blue Ridge: Unearth, Savor, Nourish”

– $12,450 to Heifetz International Music Institute in Staunton, “The Heifetz Institute’s 2022 Festival of Concerts”

– $35,000 to Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center, “Fall Access/Luray Triathalon”

– $20,000 to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, “Shenandoah Valley Origami Adventure”

– $16,616 to Queen City Mischief & Magic in Staunton, “Queen City Mischief & Magic Festival”

– $10,000 to Rockingham County Fair Association, “Rockingham County Fair”

– $20,000 to Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester, “Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival”

– $20,000 to Shenandoah County, “Trail Treks and Road Rides in the George Washington National Forest”

– $5,000 to Shenandoah Music Trail in Swoope, “Music Trail Event”

– $10,000 to Shenandoah University in Winchester, “Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre”

– $10,000 to Shenandoah Valley Music Festival in Woodstock, “Summer Music & Outdoor Adventure”

– $20,000 to Shenandoah Valley Travel Association in Luray, “GO BIG: Shenandoah Grand Tours!”

– $3,000 to Staunton-Augusta Art Center, “Art in the Park”

– $13,750 to Staunton Music Festival, “Staunton Music Festival/BaroqueFest 2022″

– $10,000 to Summer Stage LLC in Staunton, “Summer Stage @ The Blackburn 2022″

– $10,000 to Wayne Theatre Alliance, Inc in Waynesboro, “Outdoor Production”

– $20,000 to City of Waynesboro, “Family-Friendly Waynesboro”

Click here for the full list of funding recipients.

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