WAYNESBORO – The City of Waynesboro Economic Development and Tourism office has been awarded a $50,000 Marketing Leverage Program grant from Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) for Divinely Placed: Marketing the Waynesboro Experience. Blue Ridge Bucha received an award of $5,000 toward Visit Waynesboro’s East Main District. Waynesboro’s initiatives were among 57 local tourism projects awarded during this round of funding from VTC.
Both efforts leverage Waynesboro’s placement at the crossroads of the Shenandoah National Park/Skyline Drive, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Appalachian Trail making it an ideal place for visitation. “These awards will allow for a robust roll-out of key initiatives the City and its partners are working on,” says Courtney Cranor, Assistant Director of Economic Development and Tourism for Waynesboro. “Divinely Placed: Marketing the Waynesboro Experience is a multi-platform outreach initiative to reach an expanded audience and to increase conversion of potential visitors into reserved extended stays. Under this initiative is the launch of the redesigned visitors guide and an upcoming overhaul of the tourism website.”
A more geographically targeted effort to pull visitors to and through Waynesboro’s East Main Corridor headed by Blue Ridge Bucha partnering with the City’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism, Basic City Beer Co., Hops Kitchen, and Rockfish Gap Outfitters was awarded $5,000. “Waynesboro’s East Main Street area is becoming a hub for businesses that highlight our area’s unique combination of world-class outdoor access and a happening craft food and beverage scene,” says Kate Zuckerman, co-owner of Blue Ridge Bucha. “We are thrilled to have VTC’s support as we work together to evolve this corridor’s unique potential into a thriving tourism district.”
The VTC Marketing Leverage Program is designed to increase visitor spending by leveraging limited marketing dollars, stimulating new tourism marketing through partnerships, and extending the “Virginia is for Lovers” brand. A minimum of three Virginia entities must partner financially to apply for a grant. 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. In total, VTC awards approximately $1.7 million annually—matched and leveraged on average 3:1 by partner dollars.
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