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Waynesboro receives $10,000 to help boost out-of-state tourism to the area

Love sign in Downtown Waynesboro
Love sign in Downtown Waynesboro(WHSV)
Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 8:32 PM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) - The city of Waynesboro has received some help to boost tourism.

“The hospitality and tourism industry was hardest hit, if not the hardest hit industry in the state of Virginia,” Greg Hitchin, Director of Waynesboro Economic Development, said.

While tourism has gotten better since the peak of the pandemic, the Virginia Tourism Corporation said things are still not quite back to normal. The Recovery Marketing Leverage Program was created to help by leveraging local marketing dollars through a local match of the state grants funds.

“We match the funding, in kind, with the things we do from social media posts, to postage, mailing out visitors guides,” Hitchin explained. “Marketing our communities to regions outside of the state to get more visitors into the state and into our communities, take advantage of all the great things we have to offer.”

The program is also designed to extend the “Virginia is for Lovers” brand.

Waynesboro is one of 64 initiatives that were funded through this program. The $10,000 the city received will go toward updating a new visitor’s guide.

“Obviously, when COVID hit, it was completely out of date, so we’re looking at a new refresh of that to make it a little bit more contemporary, some new photography to be included into that an make it have a longer shelf life,” Hitchin said.

The visitor’s guides get sent out across the country, giving people a taste of what Waynesboro is like with the hope that they will want to experience it themselves.

And even with the spread of the Delta variant, Hitchin said the city is not looking back.

“Remaining steady to make sure we understand everything that’s going on,” he said. “That’s our encouragement to our businesses to stay safe, do what you feel comfortable with for your business and your employees and your customers, but we are forging ahead as best as we possibly can.”

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