Previous Page  13 / 32 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 13 / 32 Next Page
Page Background







, W




Since July 2005, Virginia Tourism Corpora­

tion’s Partnership Marketing Development Team

has worked closely with communities throughout

Virginia to unite small businesses, attractions,

corporations, associations and agencies. Through

marketing, education, and product development,

the Development Team has successfully

implemented a number of projects that have

boosted tourism in their respective regions.

At the foundation of the development program

is assisting localities with the development of

strategic tourism plans which help to guide

economic growth and enhance the quality of life

of those localities and citizens.

A great example of a project facilitated by

the Development Team from concept to fruition

is the Southwest Regional Recreation Authority,

also known as Spearhead Trails. Spearhead

Trails currently has four multiuse/OHV trails the

communities of St. Paul, Pocahontas, Pennington Gap, and Grundy

with additional trails opening in the near future. Since Spearhead

Trails opened in 2013, there has been major investment in trailhead

communities, such as $10.5 million in private investments in St. Paul,

including the anticipated Western Front hotel which is scheduled to

open in 2017. The Town of Pocahontas has seen more than $2 million

in private investment since October 2014. Since May 2015, there has

been more than $1 million in private investment in Buchanan County.

Pennington Gap’s meals tax revenues increased by $7,000 more than

their all-time high shortly after a trail opened in their community.

The Southwest Virginia region as a whole has seen a 53% increase in

tourism expenditures since 2004.

Other examples of regional initiatives facilitated or supported by

the Development Team include the Virginia Oyster Trail, Back of the

Dragon, the Tobacco Heritage Trail, and many others.

VTC’s development team efforts also include entrepreneur and

Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Development Team

Facilitating Tourism Business and Product Development

across the Commonwealth

small business development support from workshops and training to

one-on-one counseling with businesses all across the Commonwealth.

The "Entrepreneur Express: Moving Your Business Forward"

workshop program, started in late 2006 as a way to take business

resources to rural communities, rather than forcing entrepreneurs

to travel great distances to find the assistance they needed. This

training event is held in economically challenged communities and

covers business planning basics, marketing, financing and other small

business assistance resources.

The training event is in partnership with various other state

agencies, including the Small Business Development Centers of

Virginia, all under the leadership of Virginia’s Department of Small

Business and Supplier Diversity. Since its inception, more than

150 Entrepreneur Express workshops serving more than 4,410

entrepreneurs were conducted and the program continues to provide

VTC with a list of potential tourism entrepreneurs.

“VTC’s dedication to small businesses

has been impeccable in our success in such

a short time,” says Terri Anne Funk, business

developer of Clinch River Adventures

in St. Paul, Virginia. "The organization

provided us with ample resources to aid in

our success. Any programs that can help our

local economy and educate businesses of

Southwest Virginia’s on how to prosper is an

asset to Virginia’s future."

VTC’s development staff focuses

on areas and partnerships throughout the

Commonwealth that have great potential

for tourism growth, with a special focus on

business development and job creation.

"We’re most proud of the partnerships

we’ve been able to form with local, state,

and federal agencies to provide assistance

to entrepreneurs, businesses, and localities,"

says Rita McClenny, president and CEO of

Virginia Tourism Corporation. "When they

succeed, Virginia succeeds."

For more information on Virginia

TourismCorporation’s PartnershipMarketing

Development Team, visit .

Spearhead Trails is attracting

adventure seeking visitors to

the Commonwealth.

The Virginia Oyster Trail is showcasing

the East Coast Oyster Capital to visitors.