Harrisonburg Tourism recently received a $20,000 grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) aimed at promoting the city as the outdoor recreation capital of the Shenandoah Valley.
The grant is expected to increase the number of visitors drawn to Harrisonburg to enjoy various outdoor activities.
The city offers a wide range of amenities for outdoor enthusiasts, such as cycling trails, outdoor recreation gear shops, craft breweries, and restaurants.
The proximity of these attractions to numerous hiking and biking trails makes Harrisonburg a popular destination for those seeking outdoor adventure.
The new grant will help raise awareness among a broader audience, attracting additional tourists and supporting local businesses.
Over the past four years, VTC has awarded a total of $130,000 in grants to Harrisonburg, with approximately $70,000 allocated to outdoor recreation.
Since the pandemic, there has been a surge in demand for outdoor activities, and Harrisonburg’s extensive offerings have attracted many visitors.
Harrisonburg Tourism Manager Jennifer Bell commented on the city’s advantageous location: “Harrisonburg’s proximity to Shenandoah National Park, the Appalachian Trail, and beautiful trails to the east and west is a considerable advantage.”
“People flock to Harrisonburg as a basecamp with a plethora of lodging, dining, and shopping options, including gear shops in close proximity to amazing trails,” Bell added.
According to the National Park Service, Shenandoah National Park had 1.6 million visitors in 2021, generating an economic impact of $113 million in local gateway regions, including Harrisonburg.
The city greatly benefits from tourism, with visitor spending reaching $214 million in 2021 and generating nearly $11 million in local tax dollars.
The grant will enable Harrisonburg to advertise in local and national outdoor recreation publications, such as Blue Ridge Outdoors and Outside Magazine, and launch a focused advertising campaign on Tripadvisor.
Additionally, it will support the promotion of the new online trail guide, which features 15 local cycling, hiking, and running trails.
The outdoor recreation industry has experienced significant growth in recent years. This trend has been fueled by an increasing focus on health and wellness, as well as a desire for new experiences and adventures.
Promoting outdoor recreation not only benefits the local economy and businesses but also encourages a more active and environmentally conscious lifestyle.
For more information on local tourism and the trail guide, visit visitharrisonburgva.com/trails.