July 23, 2020
Discover Bristol Receives WanderLove Recovery Grant for Tourism Marketing
Bristol, TN/VA (July 23, 2020) – Discover Bristol has received $10,000 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.
Discover Bristol will use the VTC WanderLove grant funds to develop and promote a trip itinerary for visitors to experience Bristol’s rich musical history and heritage. Featured destinations include the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Burger Bar, Bristol LoveWorks sign, Sessions Hotel, Mendota Trail, and the Carter Family Fold.
The coronavirus has had a devastating impact on the tourism and hospitality industries in Virginia. Based on industry research, in-state and drive-market road trips will be the first to return as restrictions are lifted in Virginia and across the country. Travelers will be seeking safe, close-to-home destinations that allow for social distancing and access to open spaces.
“The hospitality and tourism industry continues to be the hardest hit sector during the pandemic. These critical resources will support Discover Bristol’s ongoing promotion of our incredible assets to drive visitation to Bristol, which directly impacts our local businesses,” said Christopher Perrin, marketing director for Discover Bristol.
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 Bristol, VA spending more than $56.8 million in 2018, supporting 506 work opportunities and contributing $4.28 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.
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About Discover Bristol
The Bristol TN/VA Convention and Visitors Bureau (Discover Bristol) is a division of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce dedicated to advancing the economic vitality of both Bristol, Tennessee and Bristol, Virginia, as a year-round travel destination. Learn more at DiscoverBristol.org or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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 celebrates its 50th anniversary. To learn more, visit Virginia.org.