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Surry selected for statewide tourism program

The Virginia Tourism Corporation selected Surry County as one of the 30 localities that will participate in a statewide tourism program known as Drive 2.0.

The program, as described in a Sept. 1 county press release, is intended to equip communities across the state with the tools they need to succeed in an overly competitive travel and tourism market — and will provide each locality a $10,000 grant to develop such plans.

The Drive 2.0 process includes soliciting input via a survey and community meetings that will result in “specifically tailored promotion, product development, and advocacy strategies” for Surry, the press release states.

“I would like to thank the Virginia Tourism Corporation for yet another supportive tool in furthering Surry County’s tourism objectives,” said the county’s economic development director, Yoti Jabri. “Surry County has so much to offer visitors and Drive 2.0 will help us identify what to market and strategies to take moving forward.”

“The Drive 2.0 process will bring together community leaders, stakeholders, governmental representatives, and tourism staff to assess our tourism assets, challenges, messaging, and opportunities for product development and advocacy,” said Pat Bernshausen, Surry’s tourism coordinator. “As a small, rural community, Surry does have many challenges; however, awareness of such opens the door to more creative thinking as we collectively look for solutions and alternatives to these challenges. We believe that the Drive. 2.0 process will result in an increased ability to promote Surry County’s rich history, recreational experiences, and increase local support within the community — having been made aware of the economic value of tourism.”