Winchester, Virginia (PRWEB) September 30, 2013
Governor Bob McDonnell announced that the Shenandoah Valley Kids Trail received $25,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) Marketing Leverage Grant Fund program. Governor McDonnell had earlier increased funding for the program as part of his administration’s efforts to increase economic development through tourism. In total VTC awarded more than $980,000 for 54 tourism-marketing projects across the state to help increase visitation and revenue for Virginia’s localities through tourism.
Great Country Farms as Lead Partner received a $25,000 grant for its “Shenandoah Valley Kids Trail. Great Country Farms partnered with seven other partners to include: Shenandoah Caverns, Bryce Resort, Massanutten Indoor WaterPark, The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Country Inn and Suites, Shenandoah Discovery Museum, and The Family Drive In Theatre to supply $115,000 in matching funds for the project. The partners will be using the database and electronic infrastructure of Go Blue Ridge Travel to implement the program.
The Shenandoah Valley is a huge region. There are eight Virginia counties, three West Virginia Counties and one Maryland County. Trip planning is difficult for visitors who are unfamiliar with the area. Building the connective "hub and spoke" itinerary will facilitate family travel while leveraging the relationship of tourism partners. Oftentimes, families do not have adequate time to comprehensively plan for family travel so providing families with an array of electronic and print tools allows for more immediate information to families on the road. Moreover, the ‘Kids Trail’ adds another dimension to travel planning – one that is easily branded and recognized.
“The major dollars received from the VTC will be utilized to build a mobi website with a Google GPS driven search engine. Visitors will be able to leave one resort and then find another activity easily within the area they are visiting. With the advertising strength of our partners, we can as a networking partnership reach out to both the metropolitan DC Weekend visitor as well as position ourselves as a national family vacation spot," said Kate Zurschmeide, co-owner of Great Country Farms.
“I am honored that Go Blue Ridge Travel has been selected by the partners as the media to be used for the Shenandoah Valley Kids Trail. This will be an extension of our already established ‘GoBRT’s Kids Bucket List’. Our database for the region is huge and will be expanding as we add more businesses on board who wish to reach out to family tourism,” said Nancy Craun.
Patrick Kaler, President and CEO of Visit Loudoun in his endorsement said, “This exciting collaboration between attractions and accommodations will be an excellent asset to enhance and increase family visitation to Northern Virginia. The partners have developed a comprehensive and aggressive marketing campaign that is rich with interesting and enticing content. I am confident that this promotion will directly influence the target market, and produce and most likely exceed expected return on investment.”
Brenda Black, Tourism and Services Manager of Visit Harrisonburg said, “As Harrisonburg looks to connect visitors to children's related activities the Shenandoah Valley Kid’s Trail provides the opportunity to partner with other kid friendly businesses in the Shenandoah Valley and Loudoun County. This family friendly theme will enable itinerary development and packages on Virginia.org and in advertising campaigns; creating a media buzz that will reiterate the message that our region is a family friendly destination in Virginia.”
The VTC Marketing Leverage Program is designed to stimulate new tourism marketing through partnerships by leveraging limited marketing dollars, resulting in increased visitor spending. A minimum of three entities must partner financially to apply and may consist of Virginia towns, cities, counties, convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce, other local or regional destination marketing organizations, private businesses, museums, attractions, cultural events, and other not-for-profit entities.
“Grants such as these enable our localities to more effectively market themselves to potential visitors,” said Governor McDonnell. “When more visitors come to Virginia, the localities and the Commonwealth realize increased tax revenue, businesses prosper, and new jobs are created.”
“Local tourism efforts get a gigantic boost when parties work together in partnership,” said Rita McClenny, President and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. “By leveraging our tourism marketing funds so much good can be accomplished that results in dynamic tourism projects that might otherwise be unaffordable.”
Tourism in Virginia generates $20 billion in revenue, supports more than 207,000 jobs and provides $1.3 billion in state and local taxes.
Love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Visit http://www.Virginia.org to learn more about vacation destinations in Virginia or call 1-800-VISITVA to receive a free, Virginia is for Lovers
Founded in 2011, GoBlueRidgeTravel.com (GoBRT), a division of Encore Event Partners is the only regional website showcasing the activities, events, and accommodations in the Blue Ridge Mountains and northern Shenandoah Valley. With a ten year relationship of marketing the region to brides for their wedding destinations, GoBRT is now reaching out to families branding the trademark 'GoBRT's Kids Bucket List' showcasing the experiences tots to teens should have prior to turning eighteen in the valley. Covering Virginia and West Virginia, Go Blue Ridge Travel’s goal is to brand this 100 mile radius as a travel and wedding destination both nationally and internationally.