If you live or work in Waynesboro, you're on the "front lines" for a tourism promotion. A daylong event Monday aims to show locals what they have to offer close to home, and it offered some incentives for spreading the word.
About 30 different vendors gathered at the Best Western Hotel in Waynesboro for the tourism trade show that caters to locals. That includes restaurant and retail workers who might get the question, "What's there to do around here?" The event targets residents as well, since nearly half of Waynesboro's visitors come to see someone they know.
Clair Myers with the Greater Waynesboro Tourism Association said, "Everybody thinks of tourism as just people driving through the area. But there are people who come here to see friends, and their family wants to take them someplace... Whether it's to the caverns or to a winery... Or to a show at one of the local venues."
The event offered door prizes including an iPad and a round-trip airline ticket to Orlando, as well as a free customer service training session from the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
Members of the Tourism Association of Greater Waynesboro say their industry pumps $27 million a year into the local economy. One reason is the city's location as a hub, with dozens of attractions within a 30-minute drive.
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