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Thursday September 12, 2013

The Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Rocky Gap Welcome CenterCorporation’s (EDC) Tourism & Film Division is participating in a unique new marketing opportunity to inform travelers about our community. 

Throughout the entire month of September, the Martinsville-Henry County (MHC) Tourism Division is participating in a Welcome Center Blitz, in partnership with the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s (VTC) Welcome Center in Rocky Gap, Virginia. Participation in a Blitz allows MHC Tourism to take over the State Welcome Center for a month so that our area’s information is prominently placed in front of travelers along the I-77 corridor near the West Virginia state line.

When guests walk into the center they are greeted by a digital slide show of area photos, banners and prominently placed area information. The state Welcome Center staff is getting involved by wearing Martinsville-Henry County logo apparel and buttons that say “Ask me about Martinsville-Henry County.” Most importantly, the Blitz allows MHC Tourism to collect valuable data from the interstate travelers so that local staff can continue marketing to these potential visitors year-round.

Visitors from Wisconsin

As an added bonus, area businesses can get involved by volunteering to visit the State Welcome Center for a day and interact with travelers during the MHC Blitz. The ideal candidates are representatives from attractions, special events or unique, locally-owned businesses. Volunteers are welcome to bring samples of products, props, demonstrations and promotional materials from their business or event.

The Rocky Gap Welcome Center staff interacts with 45,000 visitors per year with more than 500,000 visitors stopping each year to use their facilities. An estimated 4,500 guests will be assisted at the center in September. According to Gary Jeffery, Welcome Center Operations Manager for Western Virginia, “Virginia is a drive market, and making yourself visible at the state’s gateways and engaging travelers who are already in our great Commonwealth is a smart way to connect with potential visitors.” 

Interested parties should contact Jennifer Doss, Director of Tourism at 276.403.5949, to volunteer for the marketing opportunity.  A second Blitz will be held in November at the Lambsburg, Virginia Welcome Center at the North Carolina state line.

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