Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that Grayson County and the City of Galax received $20,000 each from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) Destination Marketing Organization Marketing Program grant. In total, VTC awarded more than $3.2 million for 236 local and regional tourism marketing programs across the state to help increase visitation and revenue for Virginia’s localities through tourism.
Grayson County received a $20,000 grant for Charting Your Course to Adventure, and the City of Galax received $20,000 grant for The Phoenix.
The two DMOs partnered with each other and the Blue Ridge Music Center and the Twin County Chamber of Commerce to supply around $130,000 combined in matching in-kind funds.The program provides funds for advertising opportunities on Trip Advisor, in Blue Ridge Outdoors, Guest Quest, radio ads, promotional video and social media campaigns.
The most innovative collaboration is the tourism map which will provide an aerial illustrated view of the city on one side and the County on the other. These beautiful maps will highlight landmark historic, musical, and outdoor recreation attractions in both places on tear-off pads.
“Half of Galax is geographically located in Grayson County,” said Tracy Cornett, Tourism Economic Development Director for Grayson County, “so it only makes sense that we work together to attract visitors to both our localities.” Patti Price-Love, Galax’s Tourism Director, continued, “Galax and Grayson County cross-promote area attractions, so this map creates a cohesive tool. We are excited to work together to promote tourism regionally.”
Using the hub and spoke tourism partnership model, Virginia entities partner to apply for funding. 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. “VTC’s tourism marketing and sponsorship programs are designed to increase visitor spending by leveraging limited marketing dollars, to stimulate new tourism marketing through partnerships, and to extend the “Virginia is for Lovers” brand to drive visitation,” said Rita McClenny, VTC President and CEO. More information on VTC’s Marketing Leverage and Regional Marketing Programs can be found at vatc.org/grants.
“VTC’s marketing and sponsorship programs are powerful incentives creating tourism partnerships across Virginia that are a robust part of Virginia’s economic ecosystem,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “From first-time applicants like Foxfield Races and Paradise Springs Winery to large music festivals in Hampton Roads and Southwest Virginia driving inbound overnight visitation, these programs show that tourism and tourism partnerships help Virginia’s vibrant communities grow and thrive.”
“Driving inbound out-of-state overnight visitation is a key economic strategy and the VTC grant and sponsorship programs help create unique partnerships that have tangible economic impacts across Virginia,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “Many of these programs also support regional marketing initiatives designed to encourage Virginians to explore their own state.”
Grayson County, Virginia is home to two of the state’s highest mountains, Mt. Rogers and Whitetop Mountain, along with dozens of other mountains close to 5,000 ft. One of the world’s oldest rivers, the New, meanders north through the county with opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and world-class fishing. Miles of horseback riding, biking, and hiking trails crisscross the county. Two state parks, Grayson Highlands and the New River Trail, are within its boundaries as well as several miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Grayson County is the outdoor lovers’ paradise and is home to the world’s best old-time mountain music. Events happen regularly involving music, crafts, food, and traditional ways of life.
The quaint City of Galax is known as the “World Capital of Old-Time Mountain Music.” It hosts the oldest and largest Fiddlers Convention in the world along with live musical performances at the historic Rex Theater in downtown Galax. Explore traditional arts and crafts at the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts. Go to a weekend concert at the Blue Ridge Music Center just south of the city on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Ride a bike, horseback ride , or hike the New River Trail. Lots of shops and restaurants line beautiful Main Street with its historic buildings and shade trees. Plenty of events happen throughout the year. Check out https://visitgalax.com/event-directory/ to find out what’s happening soon.
Virginia is for Lovers is one of the most iconic and recognizable travel brands in the world. Using that powerful brand equity, Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) is charged with promoting the Commonwealth as a premier travel destination by showcasing all there is to love in a Virginia vacation. The dollars spent by travelers fuel the economy, provide jobs for Virginians, and improve communities across the state. Simply put, tourism helps make Virginia a great place to live, work, and vacation. Learn more at virginia.org.