Visit Loudoun has received a $10,000 grant from Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Destination Marketing Organizations WanderLove Recovery Grant Program, which will help the tourism agency further market the destination and help drive visitors to Loudoun.
The grant program was created to help destination marketing organizations like Visit Loudoun heavily impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic to fund recovery marketing initiatives. VTC awarded $866,504 in grant funds to 90 Virginia tourism organizations as part of the grant program.
“We are thrilled to be the recipient of a Virginia Tourism grant as it will allow us to further amplify our marketing at a time when our tourism and hospitality businesses need us the most,” stated Visit Loudoun President and CEO Beth Erickson. “We had great success with our Summer of Love campaign using a VTC grant last year and I am confident we can generate more interest in Loudoun through the WanderLove campaign.”
The WanderLove campaign provides travel inspiration for road trips, outdoor recreation, hidden gems, small towns and Virginia’sLOVEworks program. It is designed to capture a pent-up demand for leisure travel to safe, close-to-home destinations that allow for social distancing and access to open spaces.
Following the WanderLove concept, Visit Loudoun will highlight six different road trip experiences centered around the county’s historic towns and urban centers, featuring everything from culinary and craft beverage offerings to outdoor adventures, horse country and hidden small-town treasures.
The organization will also launch a Google campaign that will target potential visitors on the world’s largest search engine, as well as create a digital toolkit for businesses and work with partners on a local giveaway component to encourage people to visit the destination.
“Virginia tourism is a critical sector of our economy and has been heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic,” stated 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 give 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, and Loudoun is the third highest tourism revenue generator in Virginia. In 2018, visitor spending in Loudoun generated $1.84 billion and supported 17,673 jobs. Tourism-related state tax receipts for Loudoun were $48.6 million in 2018.
However the tourism and hospitality industries have also been among the hardest-hit by the pandemic, with lost jobs and revenue and temporary closures of many tourism-related businesses.