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Halifax County shares $10,000 marketing grant for blueway trail
SoVaNow.com / January 02, 2014The Halifax County Department of Tourism, Mecklenburg County Tourism and District 5 of Virginia State Parks received $10,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing Leverage Grant Fund program for the promotion of the Halifax/Mecklenburg Blueway trail.
In total VTC awarded more than $750,000 for 42 tourism marketing projects across the state to help increase visitation and revenue for Virginia’s localities through tourism.
Halifax County Tourism Director Linda Shepperd said, “This project will assist in promoting our waterways not only for fishing, but for kayaking, canoeing, camping, and will focus on a fast growing segment of people seeking an outdoor recreational experience in a natural setting.” She explained that the project is truly a regional collaborative effort to market one of the communities’ greatest assets, the existing natural resources. “This regional blueway project will offer an opportunity for groups to work together in a cohesive and more efficient manner, and to complement the work that has already been accomplished.”
Justin Kerns, Director of the Mecklenburg County Tourism Department, said, “This water trail project has been an amazing collaboration of regional stakeholders from the very beginning, and the addition of Virginia Tourism as a grant partner is opening some great doors for this already dynamic project. We’re going to do some good things for the region with this funding.”
The partners will supply a total of $10,000 in matching funds to this project. The proposed Halifax-Mecklenburg Blueway will include the Staunton, Dan, Hyco and Banister rivers, as well as Kerr Lake and upper Lake Gaston, spanning the two counties with over 30 public access points. The goal of this blueway project is to create a water-based trail system that will link the assets found on the rivers and lakes in an effort to improve, enhance and preserve the environmental, historic and recreational opportunities on the rivers and lake.
The marketing campaign is designed to promote one of the greatest tourism assets of Southern Virginia-outdoor recreation. Funding was granted for the first phase of this partnership to include name and logo design, branding, and website design. The blueway, which will include launch points, camping locations, and points of interest, will target a fast growing segment of tourism.
The VTC Marketing Leverage Program is designed to stimulate new tourism marketing through partnerships by leveraging limited marketing dollars, resulting in increased visitor spending. A minimum of three entities must partner financially to apply and may consist of Virginia towns, cities, counties, convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce, other local or regional destination marketing organizations, private businesses, museums, attractions, cultural events, and other not-for-profit entities.
“These grants enable local tourism partners to undertake projects that might otherwise be beyond their fiscal reach,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “The Marketing Leverage Grants program supports initiatives by our partners that make Virginia the best place to live, work, and play. VTC is proud to have a real impact on the ideas and programs that organizations around the state have to support the tourism industry and economy as a whole.”
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