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FairfaxBusinessFairfax one of localities embracing Va. tourism initiative

Fairfax one of localities embracing Va. tourism initiative

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The Fairfax County government’s tourism-promotion efforts will receive a boost as part of a partnership with the state government.

A total of 27 localities or regional entitities across the commonwealth, including Arlington, will launch new tourism programs developed through the Virginia Tourism Corp.’s “DRIVE 2.0” initiative.

Localities took part in workshops as part of the effort, focusing on developing or enhancing tourism promotion, product development and advocacy strategies, including specific action steps, success factors, timelines and priorities for implementation.

At the end of implementation, communities also receive a $10,000 grant to assist with further developing these plans.

“The completion of the DRIVE 2.0 workshops ​and the creation of more than 100 new tourism programs signal a new era in tourism development and marketing in the commonwealth,” said Gov. Glenn Youngkin, announcing the recipients.

“Tourism is big business in Virginia, but we must continue to innovate and improve to remain successful against our competition,” added Caren Merrick, the state government’s Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “The DRIVE 2.0 workshops have equipped Virginia communities with the tools needed to create best-in-class promotion strategies for new and original tourism products and programs.”

State leaders said the DRIVE 2.0 process provides communities across the state with the strategies needed to succeed in the overly competitive travel and tourism market. Utilizing a “hub and spoke” model, which groups attractions around a main tourism hub, participating communities developed enhanced or new tourism product development ideas totaling more than 100 new ideas and initiatives to enter the market.

“Investing in new tourism product development, infrastructure and programs is a proven strategy for improving our economy by increasing jobs and tax revenue,” Youngkin said in a statement. “This will lead to meaningful change for our communities.”

In addition to Fairfax County, localities (or localities working together as a group) that have completed the DRIVE 2.0 program include Alleghany Highlands; Arlington County; City of Bristol; Charlottesville-Albemarle County; City of Petersburg; Eastern Shore of Virginia; Floyd County; Giles County; City of Harrisonburg; Hopewell-Prince George County; Lexington Rockbridge Area; Nelson County; City of Norfolk; Northern Neck; Prince William County; Pulaski County; Richmond Region Tourism; Scott County; Smithfield/Isle of Wight County; Smyth County; Surry County; Town of Damascus; Town of Kilmarnock; Town of Marion; Town of Saltville; and Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

For more on the initiative, see the Website at http://www.vatc.org/drive2.

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