Longstanding Regional Tourism Organization Receives Public-Private Marketing Funds to Attract More Visitors From Urban Markets
Shenandoah Valley, VA – The Shenandoah Valley Travel Association (SVTA) received a $50,000 grant to launch the Let’s Go! Virginia’s Epic Shenandoah Valley Vacation campaign from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) Marketing Leverage Grant Fund program. The campaign will be focused on attracting new and repeat travelers to the Valley from high-interest urban markets.
“We want to attract new and repeat travelers from markets in and around major metro markets like Chicago, New York, and Washington DC. These travelers are already demonstrating very high visitor interest in the Shenandoah Valley as a desirable, and affordable, vacation destination,” said Helen Morton, who serves on the SVTA Marketing Committee.
The goal of the Let’s Go! campaign is to raise awareness of the Shenandoah Valley region as one of America’s most majestic and legendary landscapes, encouraging thousands of new visitors to travel to and experience all that the Shenandoah Valley offers.
The initiative will target potential travelers in specific urban markets like Chicago (now with nonstop commercial air service via United to the Shenandoah Valley) through an online campaign that encourages potential travelers to visit, ideally for extended stay by connecting them with small-town charm and epic outdoor experiences.
“United Express just announced increased flight service into SHD starting in December, and we are poised for record growth. We very excited to partner with SVTA to strategically target new visitors from Chicago, New York, and beyond,” said Heather Ream, Director of Marketing at Shenandoah Valley Airport, adding “Especially as we are the perfect gateway airport to two of America’s most beloved national parks, Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway.”
SVTA’s primary market for this campaign is Millennials and their Boomer parents/grandparents. These sectors represent the nation’s largest consumer groups, and they drive growth in the travel industry.
The creative will leverage visuals of people interacting with memorable Shenandoah Valley experiences, with the focused message of “Epic Experiences Ahead.”
To pursue this grant, SVTA partnered with the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport, the Shenandoah Valley Partnership, the City of Staunton, Luray Caverns, Massanutten Resort, and Delaware North Corporation (the concessionaire at Shenandoah National Park and The Blue Ridge Parkway.)
According to the Virginia Tourism Corporation, a significant portion of out-of-state tourists come to Virginia for sightseeing and for outdoor recreation opportunities.
“Tourism is a proven performer; it’s a fast-growing, innovative industry that attracts more and more interest in and investment to our region,” said Jay Langston, Executive Director of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership.
In total, VTC awarded 44 tourism-marketing projects across the state. The VTC Marketing Leverage Program is designed to increase visitor spending by leveraging limited marketing dollars and stimulating new tourism marketing through partnerships.
About Shenandoah Valley Travel Association (SVTA)
Founded in 1924, SVTA is one of the oldest regional tourism promotional organizations of its kind in the United States. The association promotes the tourism assets of the beautiful and historic Shenandoah Valley to the rest of the world. Our beautiful year-round destination offers some of the East Coast’s most spectacular natural landscapes, outstanding outdoor recreation, historic sites and attractions, plus charming small cities surrounded by working farms, orchards, vineyards, and craft breweries. VisitShenandoah.org and VisitSkylineDrive.org
About Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC)
Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency charged with marketing the Commonwealth as a premier travel and film destination. Last year, 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. vatc.org