Mecklenburg County Tourism has received $10,000.00 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.

Mecklenburg County Tourism will use the VTC WanderLove grant funds to promote Road Trips to Mecklenburg, incorporating the WanderLove Campaign that is designed to promote outdoor recreation and hidden gems in rural small town America, while adding a few fun twists like a digital treasure hunt centered around all of the LoveWorks signs across the County; Collect all 4 “treasures’ and be registered to win a complimentary “MoreMeck” Weekend for two, including lodging, an activity and dining.

“This opportunity comes at a time when the tourism industry is having to be very creative. Travel research shows that people are more willing to take road trips and explore small town America than to travel far and abroad to big cities. That is the perfect opportunity for Mecklenburg County. Not only are we an ideal outdoor recreation destination, we have so much to offer in our small towns and I am so excited to launch this campaign to help us get discovered in new and exciting ways”, said Tina Morgan, Mecklenburg County Tourism Coordinator.

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 Mecklenburg County spending more than $144 Million in 2018, supporting 1431 work opportunities and contributing over $6 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.

About Mecklenburg County Tourism

Mecklenburg County Tourism is charged with promoting Mecklenburg County as a tourism destination for

Southern Virginia. By marketing the County’s already-defined assets and working with partners to create new assets, we are able to promote the area to a wide-range of visitors with varying interests. Visitors who come to shop, dine and stay here have a significant impact to our local economy. To learn more, visit www.VisitMeckVa.com.

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