HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Over $1.9 million in matching grants was awarded to over 150 tourism initiatives as part of Virginia Tourism Corporation’s (VTC) Recovery Marketing Leverage Program (RMLP).
The Wishing Well in Harrisonburg received a $10,000 match grant to market a program they’re calling The Novaturient Traveler, which is a tourism culinary luxury experience in the Blue Ridge.
“The definition of Novaturient Traveler is ‘to seek or desire a powerful change in your life,’ and if anything has occurred through this COVID time period, it is that we know people are looking for a change,” co-owner Terrie Dean said.
Dean said marketing of the program will likely begin in Spring 2021 and will be marketed to couples, as well as families, and show people what they have been missing in Virginia.
The Novaturient Traveler is launching in Loudon County, but Dean and co-owner Harry Reif hope it will expand throughout the entire state, and bring people from all over the world.
“Our hope is that not only will this introduce travel to in-state Virginia travelers and so that we can lay the swath out statewide, but that we can also attract international travelers, people outside of this county when those doors reopen to introduce them to a luxurious culinary experience right here in our own home state,” Dean said.
Reif said through this program, they’re trying to reintroduce travel to Virginians in a comfortable way.
“The idea is, find people in Virginia that want to travel through Virginia and find things interesting things for them to want to do and see,” Reif said. “Everybody loves eating and everybody likes traveling safely, and those are the two main ingredients in the program. We’re going people to areas in Virginia that will remind them of vacation destinations they might have missed out on in the last year.”
Reif said the idea of this program not only supports the travel industry, but also transportation, lodging, restaurants, wineries and breweries, and local agriculture.
Recovery Marketing Leverage Program Grants were also given to the following Harrisonburg agencies:
• $20,000 to City of Harrisonburg Tourism and Visitor Services for the marketing program “Our PATH to the Perfect Event”
• $10,000 to Black Bear Productions LLC for the marketing program “Red Wing Roots Music Festival: Come for the festival, stay for a week!”
• $10,000 to Community Mediation Center DBA Harrisonburg International Festival for the marketing program “Harrisonburg International Festival and Business Recovery Program”
• $3,750 to The Virginia Quilt Museum for the marketing program “VQM COVID-19 Recovery Plan”
For more information on The Wishing Well, click here.