~ Press release issued by Page County’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism
LURAY, Nov. 30 — Page County Economic Development and Tourism has received $10,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s (VTC) Recovery
Marketing Leverage Program (RMLP), designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging limited local marketing dollars through a local match of the state grants funds.
More than $1.9 million in matching grant funds were awarded to 161 local tourism initiatives through this program. This funding cycle, local partners will provide more than $5.6 million in-kind value to match the VTC grants. The grants will ultimately impact 483 statewide tourism entities.
Page County will use the VTC Recovery Marketing Leverage grant funds to increase tourism spending and promote overnight stays starting on Sunday, a historically a slow time during all seasons. The goal is to support longer midweek stays with a crafted campaign built around the nostalgia of a “Sunday Drive”.
“Page County is a road trip destination and we hope to inspire our target markets to travel along scenic byways (rural Route 340 and Skyline Drive) and make their way into our community by following quick getaway suggestions that encourages quality time with family and friends while visiting local points of interest and attractions,” says Liz Lewis, Page County Economic Development and Tourism Coordinator.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the tourism and hospitality industries in Virginia. As the Commonwealth slowly reopens for business, VTC offered these grant funds as a first step to re-entry into the marketplace to spur economic activity and future travel across the Commonwealth of Virginia. “Page County is perfectly positioned to encourage safe road travel and using VTC marketing recovery funds will help us tell our story,” states Lewis.
“Tourism is a crucial section of the Virginia economy and when we invest in this industry, we support local job creation and drive regional economic growth, which is desperately needed now due to the pandemic,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “These funds give localities and businesses access to critical marketing resources that will help bring more travelers to our Commonwealth, increase visitor spending, and grow demand for Virginia products.”
Tourism is one of the Commonwealth’s largest economic engines and according to VTC, Page County’s tourism spending totaled more than $76.4 million in 2019, supported 779 employment opportunities and contributed over $2.7 million in local tax revenue.
Page County’s Marketing Leverage Grant will promote local points of interest (major attractions like Luray Caverns, Shenandoah River), side trips (Blue Ridge Whisky Wine Loop, Shenandoah Spirits Trail), hiking options (Shenandoah National Park, George Washington National Forest, Hawksbill Greenway), and local tips about places to stay (inns, cabins) and where to eat and shop (towns Luray, Stanley and Shenandoah) will be featured along rural routes and covered in multiple day road adventures.
Grant partners include:
• PAGE COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & TOURISM www.pagecountyliving.com,
• LURAY DOWNTOWN INITIATIVE www.downtownluray.com,
• BLUE RIDGE WHISKEY WINE LOOP www.discovershenandoah.com,
and Page County’s lodging product.