New tourism programs launching in 27 Virginia communities, including Norfolk, Eastern Shore

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Posted at 1:48 PM, Jul 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-18 13:48:05-04

RICHMOND, Va. - Governor Glenn Youngkin announced Monday that 27 Virginia communities will receive $10,000 grants to help launch new tourism programs and bolster local economies.

The grants are being provided through the Virginia Tourism Corporation's DRIVE 2.0 State Tourism Plan Implementation Workshops, which aim to develop and enhance tourism promotion, product development and advocacy strategies after the coronavirus pandemic caused an impact on the tourism industry.

More than 1,200 community and business leaders across the state participated in the workshops.

“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," Youngkin said. “Investing in new tourism product development, infrastructure and programs is a proven strategy for improving our economy by increasing jobs and tax revenue. This will lead to meaningful change for our communities across the Commonwealth, and further underscores Virginia’s reputation as the best place to live, work, and travel.”

Some of the strategies implemented by communities will include lodging and hotel development, trail development and expanded restaurant and culinary options, with a focus on building attractions around an area's main tourism hub.

The following represent the 27 communities that have completed the DRIVE 2.0 program:

  • Alleghany Highlands
  • Arlington County
  • City of Bristol
  • Charlottesville-Albemarle County
  • City of Petersburg
  • Eastern Shore of Virginia
  • Fairfax County
  • 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
  • Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge

To learn more about the DRIVE tourism program, click here.