Grants to Va. counties to help state’s long-term tourism plan

New programs meant to draw more tourists to Virginia, will also benefit those who live in the state, according to the Virginia Tourism Corp.

In 2019, the Virginia Tourism Corp.  finished putting together a long-term strategic plan to attract more travelers to the Commonwealth.



Then in 2021, just as communities were looking to jump-start tourism after the worst of the pandemic, the corporation began a series of workshops to help counties, cities and towns do it.

The workshops were held in three rounds, and they wrapped up last month.

Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William Counties were among the nearly 30 communities that took part. Each received $10,000 grants to help implement their plans.

During the workshops, trail development was identified as a good short-term way to draw new visitors and economic activity. Other focus areas included hotel development and adding more restaurant options.

“The completion of the DRIVE 2.0 workshops and the creation of more than 100 new tourism programs signal a new era in tourism development and marketing in the Commonwealth,” Gov. Glenn Youngkin said in a news release.

Youngkin said the completion of the workshops and the creation of more than 100 new tourism programs “signal a new era in tourism development and marketing in the Commonwealth.”

“Investing in new tourism product development, infrastructure and programs is a proven strategy for improving our economy by increasing jobs and tax revenue,” Youngkin said in a news release. “This will lead to meaningful change for our communities across the Commonwealth, and further underscores Virginia’s reputation as the best place to live, work, and travel.”

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter and anchor at WTOP.

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