Maggie Anderson Ready To Get Bath County Tourism Plan Started
Warm Springs, Va – Bath County now has it’s first ever tourism director. Maggie Anderson of Millboro started the new job on August 16.
“This is very much a partnership, these are not things that I’m going to be able to do by myself” says Anderson. “I cannot do anything without the help of the community. We are working closely with our partners at the Chamber [and] all of the businesses that support the tourism position and the initiatives through their tax dollars.”
“And of course the community; we want to come out and support what we do and we want them to understand and appreciate all the things that we have to offer to the outside world.”
Anderson will be following a Tourism Plan created for Bath County by the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development. Anderson’s job description calls for her to develop events that will bring tourists to Bath County, but that’s not something that will happen overnight. The tourism plan lays out a to-do list over a five year period.
“I think this first my biggest challenge is going to be managing peoples’ expectations” she says. “I think everyone wants everything yesterday and I absolutely respect and appreciate that. But there’s going to be some baby steps that have to be taken before we can take some giant steps, and I’m a firm believer in building a strong foundation.”
Anderson says she believes the first year will have many things to point to with pride but not as many as years two through five.
“If people will understand that we are building for the future and not just for an immediate impression, we will have a very successful 10 year with our tourism initiative.”
Anderson feels she has a unique perspective on Bath County that helps her to see it the way visitors will see it. She says she loves Bath County, having moved here two years ago after living in California and Maryland.
“With my families’ rich history here – the Andersons have been here a long time, I came with a ready-made impression about how wonderful life is here in this wonderful community” says Anderson. “When this opportunity presented itself I realized that I might bring an interesting perspective because I come from the west coast, I appreciate the life that we have here and I thought I might be able to help our community grow through this tourism initiative and help other people see and love the community as I do.”
Some of Anderson’s first tasks include updating the Bath County website and searching for grants that could help to bring in additional funding to promote tourism. Anderson has an open door policy and welcomes ideas and input from everyone in the community.
“I want to create a strong foundation for moving forward” she says. “Yes we want to bring tourists here, but I want everyone who comes on board to also understand that this is bigger than tourism. We’re hoping that some of the folks who drive through are area will see the richness that is presented here and will choose to invest. We’re building a future for our young people and we’re building a future for our community.”
Maggie Anderson’s office is located in the courthouse. Her phone number is 540-839-7202.