~ Press release issued by the Shenandoah County office of Tourism and Economic Development
WOODSTOCK — The Shenandoah Spirits Trail has received $10,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation DMO WanderLove Recovery Grant Program, a new grant made available to Virginia’s Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) across the Commonwealth that have been heavily impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic to fund recovery marketing initiatives.
Through the grant, $866,504 in marketing funds were awarded to 90 Destination Marketing Organizations as part of the DMO WanderLove Recovery Grant program.
The Shenandoah Spirits Trail will use these funds to promote multiple GRAB & GO Outdoor Adventure excursions in the Northern Shenandoah Valley. There is no better place to “wander” and GRAB your favorite beverage and pair it with a local eatery and GO hiking, kayaking or road trippin’ to the next hangout spot. This grant award will focus on our top feeder markets in the greater Metro DC area through digital and social campaigns, new video production and radio ads to further promote WanderLove and connect consumers to the outdoor seating, recreation and local provisions available in the Northern Shenandoah Valley.
“We feel strongly we are positioned well to continue to encourage social distancing and outdoor exploration in this extremely uncertain time in history”, explained Brenda Black, Tourism and Economic Development Coordinator in Shenandoah County.
“Clarke County’s participation in the WanderLOVE grant for our Shenandoah Spirits Trail has tremendous value”, said Felicia Hart, Economic Development and Tourism Director. “Not only to Clarke County itself, but to all the businesses that are part of this program. And while our wineries directly benefit, all of our restaurants, lodgings and many other businesses are able to feed off of these same visitors”.
“Virginia Tourism is a critical sector of our economy and has been heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Governor 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.”
The tourism and hospitality industries have also been among the hardest-hit by the pandemic, experiencing decreased revenue and job loss, along with the temporary closure of many tourism-related businesses. A revived tourism economy can help spur new economic activity and inject critical funds back into Virginia communities.
The Shenandoah Spirits Trail is a partnership program that supports the hospitality businesses located in Clark County, Winchester and Frederick County, Page County, Shenandoah County, City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.