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Posted on: July 24, 2020

Press Release - Orange County Tourism Receives Virginia Tourism DMO Wanderlove Recovery Grant

Orange County, VA – Orange County Tourism has received $10,000.00 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.

Orange County Tourism will use the VTC DMO WanderLove grant funds to promote road trips to Orange County where guests will enjoy Orange County’s wide-open spaces, outdoor activities, scenic destinations, small town hospitality, historic landmarks and hidden gems. Promotions will include road trip blogs on Orange County Tourism’s new website, which launches early August, as well as video, direct email campaigns, television ads, and digital advertising. This outreach will provide travelers with ideas on how to get the most out of their visit to Orange County while highlighting travel safety and the concerns of travelers of today. Tourism is a vital segment of business in Orange County and provides many small businesses an opportunity to be successful in an industry they love. These small businesses are eager to welcome back visitors and locals in a safe and responsible way. 

 “Our desire to get outside is stronger than ever right now and Orange County offers many ways to reconnect with the ones we love while staying safe and comfortable during our travels. We are excited to partner with VTC to help share the WanderLove Road trip campaign and promote all the things we love about our region and boosting our small business community,” shared Orange County Tourism Manager, Lori Landes-Carter.

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 Orange County spending more than 51 million in 2018, supporting 613 work opportunities and contributing 3.7 million 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.

About Orange County Tourism 

The Orange County Tourism department functions as the destination marketing organization for Orange County, which promotes Orange County as a leading travel destination in Central Virginia. In 2018, visitors to Orange County spent over $51 million, which supported 613 jobs and added $3.7 million in state and local taxes. Orange County Tourism manages a state certified Visitor’s Center, fully supported by volunteer staff, located in the historic Train Depot in Downtown Orange. The Visitor Center welcomes visitors to the county, promotes businesses and attractions, and provides community-related information to residents. To learn more, visit www.VisitOrangeVirginia.com.

About Virginia Tourism Corporation

Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency charged with marketing the Commonwealth as a premier travel and film destination. In 2018, visitors to Virginia spent $26 billion, which supported 234,000 work opportunities and contributed $1.8 billion in state and local taxes. In 2019, Virginia is for Lovers celebrated its 50th anniversary. 

To learn more, visit virginia.org

For more information, please contact Lori Landes-Carter at the Orange County Tourism Office at cell # (540) 920-9331 or Lcarter@orangecountyva.gov .


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