The City of Salem 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.
Salem will use the VTC WanderLove grant funds to highlight the many things to do in and around Salem from biking at Carvins Cove and visiting :Parkway Brewing for a craft beer to eating a calzone at Mac and Bob's, as recently reported by cycling blog Bike Rumor. The city also will urge visitors to discover hidden treasures like the Dilly Dally, Corbin’s Confections and the 9-11 memorial.
“This is the first time we have applied in some time and we are very pleased to receive a grant," said Carey Harveycutter, Salem’s Director of Tourism.
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 Salem spending more than $72,826,247.00 in 2018, supporting 753 work opportunities and contributing $5,524,868.00 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.
Salem is part of the visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge Region and marketing will be coordinated with that organization for maximum impact. Marketing will begin late August and will focus on the Richmond region, Greensboro/Winston Salem and Southwest Virginia for visitors to make the short drive to Salem.
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