Tourism experts offer advice to businesses

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) – From water parks to drug stores, every business in Virginia has an impact on tourism. Right now, tourism is a $19-billion industry in Virginia--and state leaders want to keep it up.

The Virginia Tourism Corporation has an entire stack of reasons as to why your business should be more in tune to the tourism industry. In the end, it will help your bottom line and the state as a whole.

"We like to connect to our partners in the tourism industry," said Grant Mudge.

Grant Mudge is Richmond Shakespeare's Artistic Director. He was excited to attend this free Virginia tourism workshop. The Richmond Shakespeare Festival is going strong right now at Agecroft Hall, but Mudge is always looking for ways to expand interest.

"We know that Virginia is for Shakespeare lovers as much as it is for lovers of culture and history, so that's one of the primary reasons we are here today," he said.

Virginia tourism leaders say Richmond Shakespeare is an ideal candidate for this workshop. With places like Kings Dominion and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden-- the commonwealth is still drawing people in despite the challenging economy, and they want to help every business realize its potential to draw in even more local and out of town foot traffic.

"Visitors need everything. They come for hotels, restaurants, but also you know drug stores, nail salons, any business has the potential to touch a tourist," said Tamra Talmadge-Anderson with the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

The Tourism Corporation says the key is to partner with it and your local convention and visitor's bureau--and play to your strengths. The Richmond Shakespeare Festival draws in repeat customers and folks from at least dozens states each year due in large part to location. Actors perform in the courtyard of Agecroft Hall--an authentic Tudor building that stood in England when Shakespeare was alive.

"You can't get that anywhere else in North America other than Richmond, Virginia, so we talk about that a lot," Grant said.

For more information about this story and tourism opportunities throughout Virginia, click here.

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