Stafford Tourism to use grant for app to highlight wineries, breweries and restaurants

by | Aug 9, 2020 | Government

From Stafford Economic Development:

Stafford County has received $10,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) DMO WanderLove Recovery Grant Program, a new grant made available to Virginia’s Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) across the Commonwealth that have been heavily impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic to fund recovery marketing initiatives. $866,504 in marketing grant funds were awarded to 90 Destination Marketing Organizations as part of the DMO WanderLove Recovery Grant program.

Stafford County will use the VTC WanderLove grant funds with focused marketing efforts to promote a new Stafford County Saving Pass App. This app will highlight our wineries and breweries, tourism assets, and restaurants providing discounts at their locations the community and visitors can use when they visit our area. Visit Explore.TourStafford.com to access your Stafford County Savings Pass experience.

“We are proud to receive this grant from the State of Virginia to support our tourism program”, stated Lisa Logan, Tourism Manager for Stafford County. “This additional funding will support our leisure travel marketing efforts. We are eager to launch this initiative during a vital time in our economy.”

As Virginia begins reopening, there is a lot of pent-up demand for leisure travel and people are seeking safe, close-to-home destinations that allow for social distancing and access to open spaces. With this in mind, the WanderLove campaign provides travel inspiration for road trips, outdoor recreation, hidden gems, small towns, and Virginia’s signature LOVEworks program.

“Virginia tourism is a critical sector of our economy and has been heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “Getting travelers back on the road and spending money in our cities and towns is one of the fastest ways to inject dollars back into our economy and our communities. The Virginia Tourism Corporation’s DMO WanderLove Recovery Grants gives localities the ability to market their destination as safe and welcoming when visitors are ready to resume travel.”

Tourism is one of the Commonwealth’s largest economic engines, with visitors to Stafford spending more than $147,326,665.00 in 2018, supporting 1,456 work opportunities and contributing $10,457,998 in local and state tax revenue. The tourism and hospitality industries have also been among the hardest-hit by the pandemic, experiencing decreased revenue and job loss, along with the temporary closure of many tourism-related businesses. A revived tourism economy can help spur new economic activity and inject critical funds back into Virginia communities.

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