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Posted on: May 3, 2022

Ashland Awarded Virginia Tourism Grant for “Center Your Universe" Marketing Campaign

Visitors Center sign

The Town of Ashland is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC). The grant will help fund the Town’s “Center Your Universe” marketing and visitor experience campaign expected to launch in 2022 and continue throughout 2023.

As part of the campaign and in partnership with the Downtown Ashland Association and the Ashland Museum, the Town will develop and launch a new interactive visitor app, which will include storytelling and audio tour features, as well as highlight Ashland’s events, restaurants, shops, and hotels to visitors. The app will also give visitors the ability to build custom trip itineraries for their time spent in the Center of the Universe.

“We truly appreciate Virginia Tourism’s investment in Ashland’s growing tourism economy,” said Martha J. Miller, Community Engagement Manager for the Town of Ashland. “These funds will enable us to expand our marketing reach and develop assets in keeping with the interests of the next generation of travelers.”

Amtrak in Downtown Ashland

“Our historic downtown and theatre, variety of annual community events, and strategic location along the I-95 corridor already make Ashland a compelling draw for day-trippers and regional travelers,” Ms. Miller added. “Pair these existing attributes with the forthcoming Mid-Atlantic Railroad Park and future completion of the Fall Line Trail (of which Ashland will serve as its northern trailhead) and I believe we’re looking at a very strong and exciting tourism economy for this community in the future.”

Yesterday, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that VTC awarded more than $2.7 million for 259 local and regional tourism marketing programs across the state to help increase visitation and revenue for Virginia’s localities through tourism. Within the Town of Ashland and Hanover County, additional grant recipients include Downtown Ashland Association ($5,000), Center of the Universe Brewing Co ($6,700), and Green Top Sporting Goods ($30,000).

“These grant funds provide an important opportunity for communities across the Commonwealth to accelerate recovery efforts and continue with their best-in-class marketing initiatives to attract new travelers,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism. “Increased visitation translates directly into revenue generation, underscoring tourism’s important role in stimulating economic growth and expansion”

The VTC Regional Marketing Program aims to help Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs), such as the Town of Ashland, drive overnight visitation and to supplement funding for economically significant special events and festivals in order to increase overnight visitation.  The DMO funding is projected to drive more than 125,000 room nights over the next 18 months.

About Virginia Tourism Corporation
Virginia is for Lovers is one of the most iconic and recognizable travel brands in the world. Using that powerful brand equity, Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) is charged with promoting the Commonwealth as a premier travel destination by showcasing all there is to love in a Virginia vacation. The dollars spent by travelers fuel the economy, provide jobs for Virginians, and improve communities across the state. Simply put, tourism helps make Virginia a great place to live, work, and vacation. Learn more at virginia.org.

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