WYTHEVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) – The tourism industry has been impacted during the pandemic, but in Southwest Virginia, the industry is rebuilding stronger than you might think.
According to Virginia Tourism SocietySouthwest Virginia tourist numbers are only 7% lower than in 2019.
“Over the past 24 months, it’s really inspired the traveler to come back, but now we’re planning and hosting events and we’re 100% back in person,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. .
About 180 members of the tourism industry gathered in Wytheville on August 22 to discuss trends and how to reach new visitors at the Reignite Tourism Summit.
“We are not a large metropolitan area, so working together, in partnership across geographic boundaries, strengthens all of our marketing and gives us the opportunity to welcome more travelers to our region,” Visit Wythevillesaid Rosa Lee Jude.
McClenny says funding for the US Bailout Act will play a big role in helping the tourism field to fully recover.
“Many localities, counties, towns and cities in Southwest Virginia have developed new marketing ideas and campaigns to use these funds to reach travelers they could never afford to speak with before,” said she declared.
But to attract new travellers, they need to know what a destination has to offer.
“With digital marketing, we’re talking about platforms like TikTok, Instagram and Pinterest, so you can really show off photos, you can really show off the product, you can really appeal in a very short clip of say, eight to 10 seconds” , she said.
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