Highland Tourism Initiative Getting Closer To Tourism Plan For The County
Monterey, VA – The Highland County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Authority are spearheading an effort to bring the county a tourism development plan. The process began on June 30 with an open meeting run by Randy Rose of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. The goal of the group is to develop and increase tourism to benefit visitors and improve the quality of life for current and future county residents.
The county’s premier tourism assets were listed by the group. These included the natural beauty, historic buildings, hunting and fishing areas and agricultural resources. The second meeting July 27 focused on a marketing analysis, target customers and tourism infrastructure. The third and fourth sessions held last week focused on developing a mission statement and a vision statement.
The group’s Vision of the county is that of Virginia’s mountain frontier, where visitors will find a welcoming community for seekers of natural beauty, traditional culture and a renewed spirit. The Mission of the county’s tourism promotion efforts is to share the treasures of Highland’s natural mountain beauty and unique activities and to enhance the quality of life for all citizens and visitors creating an unforgettable experience and a desire to return.
The process of promoting tourism was broken down into several objectives including the improvement of tourism marketing and development of tourism infrastructure such as a campground and more public restrooms. For this effort to succeed the county will have to increase the funding for tourism promotion and increase the public awareness of the benefits of tourism. Additional long-term goals of the group are to conserve the natural beauty of the county and improve the agricultural economy. An important factor for the county’s future will be the ability to attract young families to increase the enrollment in the school system.
Randy Rose talks about the final stages of the process of developing the tourism plan.
“I’m going to draft a rough draft of the tourism plan” says Rose. “This is framing the plan now from all this input. I will get that to Carolyn [Pohowsky]; she’s going to distribute it to you guys, so you’ll have a chance to look over the draft prior to this review meeting.”
“I want us to look if there are any additions, important things that we missed or if we need to come to consensus on some things there. That meeting [is]important for that reason.”
The last meeting in this part of the process will be on September 30 when the draft tourism promotion plan will be discussed. This will be an opportunity to make final changes in the plan.