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The original item was published from 7/29/2020 3:38:28 PM to 8/3/2020 1:00:06 AM.

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Posted on: July 31, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Ashland Receives VTC WanderLove Grant

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Town of Ashland Receives Virginia Tourism Corporation DMO WanderLove Recovery Grant for Tourism Marketing

The Town of Ashland 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.

Ashland will use the VTC WanderLove grant funds to promote the restaurants, shops, and activities in and around town. From the patio seating at our restaurants and brewery, to the drive-in movies at Ashland Theatre, and the bike and motorcycle routes through Hanover’s countryside, there are options for every traveler to have fun and stay healthy.

“We are thrilled for what this generous grant from VTC will do for our town,” said Matt Reynal, Ashland’s Assistant Town Manager. “The grant funds will allow us to support our local businesses by marketing our community’s assets directly to people within driving distance so that they can experience all that Ashland and Hanover have to offer.”

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 Ashland spending more than $250 million in 2018, supporting 2,629 work opportunities and contributing over $3.3 million in local 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 the Town of Ashland
Affectionately referred to by locals as the "Center of the Universe," Ashland is situated approximately 15 miles north of Richmond and home to over 7,700 residents. A small town with a big personality, railroad tracks run the length of Ashland’s historic main street, which is lined with shops, restaurants, a historic inn, a brewery, and the campus of Randolph-Macon College. The Town of Ashland operates under the council-manager form of government, which combines the strong political leadership of an elected town council with the professional managerial experience of an appointed town manager. The Town of Ashland prides itself on providing efficient and effective government services that support our community and enhance our quality of life. Learn more about the Town of Ashland here.

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

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