Highland County Chamber of Commerce Receives $20,000 Tourism Grant

According to a press release from the Highland County Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber has received a $20,000 Recovery Marketing Leverage grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

More than $860,000 in matching grant funds were awarded to 64 local tourism initiatives through this program. This funding cycle, local partners will provide more than $2.2 million in-kind marketing value to match the Virginia Tourism Corporation grants. The grants will ultimately impact 384 statewide tourism entities.  The money will help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging limited local marketing dollars through a local match of the state grants funds.

The Highland County Chamber of Commerce will use the Recovery Marketing Leverage grant funding to invite visitors to reconnect with what they love in Highland County.  After over a year of having events disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Chamber will be utilizing the funds for marketing efforts that encourage visitors to make new memories in this beautiful mountain community.

Highland County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Chris Swecker said, “We are so grateful and humbled to receive this funding.  It will make a huge impact.  The funds will allow us additional and expanded opportunities to advertise our upcoming events, including the Hands & Harvest Festival, Wintertide, and Maple Festival, as well as attractions like the Virginia Maple Syrup Trail.  We’re excited to bring more attention to our area to help boost the local economy.  Be on the lookout for fresh, updated branding for our events as part of this grant, as well as a fun surprise or two along the way.  Overall, we want the public to know that Highland County is an ideal place to visit, play, work, and live.  The Chamber also thanks The Highland Center and Highland Tourism Council for being valuable partners that are crucial to the success of our endeavors.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the tourism and hospitality industries in Virginia.  As the Commonwealth slowly reopens for business, the Virginia Tourism Corporation offered these grants as a first step to re-entry into the marketplace to spur economic activity and future travel across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency charged with marketing the Commonwealth as a premier travel and film destination. To learn more, visit virginia.org.

To learn more about the Highland County Chamber of Commerce, visit highlandcounty.org.


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

Current Weather