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Eight communities participate in Virginia Tourism program DRIVE 2.0

virginia tourismEight Virginia localities participated in the DRIVE 2.0 Statewide Tourism Plan implementation, which focuses on developing or enhancing tourism promotion, product development, and advocacy strategies.

The DRIVE 2.0 process, facilitated by Virginia Tourism Corporation, equips communities across the state with the tools they need to succeed in an overly competitive travel and tourism market.

These eight communities are part of the 30 communities that are anticipated to complete the DRIVE 2.0 program.

  • Bristol
  • Charlottesville/Albemarle County
  • Hopewell/Prince George County
  • Nelson County
  • Pulaski County
  • Scott County
  • Richmond Region Tourism
  • Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge

“Tourism will be key to economic recovery as the pandemic continues to stabilize,”said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “As travelers immediately inject cash back into communities, Virginia aims to restore the tourism economy into the vibrant and highly performing economic engine it always has been. By promoting responsible tourism, innovative product development, and community cooperation, the tourism industry will return to its previous economic vitality as an instant revenue generator. DRIVE 2.0 will help our industry do just that.”

“Virginia Tourism Corporation’s understanding of data analytics combined with our expertise within the destination will yield valuable insights that will advance the tourism product in Central Virginia,” said Jack Berry, president and CEO of Richmond Region Tourism.

The DRIVE 2.0 program launched at an important time for the tourism industry, as communities are looking ahead to rebound efforts to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. As communities begin these efforts, competition will be fierce as they fight for every traveler dollar. DRIVE 2.0 materials are an important resource and tool for these industries as they look to recovery, with a focus on promotion of outdoor recreation and development, community support, and making the case for tourism as drivers of community and economic wellness.

“DRIVE 2.0 couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Courtney Cacatian, executive director of Charlottesville-Albemarle County CVB. “The initiative supported us in pressing the reset button to think through how to build our industry back better and stronger than before in collaboration with our partners and our community.”

DRIVE 2.0 has developed strategies that will help make Virginia’s tourism industry more robust and create sustainable opportunities for new development and growth. Direct industry partner and stakeholder feedback resulted in the development of the Statewide Strategic Tourism Plan, 10 Regional Plans, and six How-To-Guides covering telling and selling your story, enhancing tourism product, and making the case for tourism.

Throughout the implementation process, communities’ input and expertise from their own local and regional tourism partners was gathered through a community survey, expanded on through community consensus meetings, and resulted in specifically tailored promotion, product development, and advocacy strategies.

DRIVE 2.0 will be implemented within 30 Virginia communities and will help create the foundation for a competitive promotion, product development, and advocacy plan, including specific action steps, success factors, timelines, priorities for implementation. At the end of implementation, communities receive a $10,000 grant to assist with furthering or developing these plans.

Round 2 of DRIVE 2.0 application period for Virginia DMOs begins June 28 to July 9.

To learn more about DRIVE Tourism, visit www.vatc.org/drive2.


Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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